Kaman Corporation (NYSE: KAMN) has invested $10 million in Pittsburgh, PA based Near Earth Autonomy, Inc., in exchange for a minority interest in the outstanding equity of Near Earth and one seat on its board of directors. The investment by Kaman will allow Near Earth to accelerate its technology to establish an industry standard in autonomous solutions for the next generation of aviation. This partnership also leverages Kaman’s core competency in precision parts manufacturing as the preferred manufacturer of autonomous parts and components for Near Earth.
This investment builds upon an already strong working relationship between the two companies. Since 2019, Near Earth has been a partner of Kaman on the autonomy technology for Kaman’s K-MAX TITAN heavy-lift optionally piloted helicopter for the United States Marine Corps and the KARGO UAV unmanned aerial system, a purpose-built autonomous medium-lift logistics vehicle. Going forward, Near Earth will provide safe landing, obstacle avoidance, and other autonomous flight technologies such as sense and avoid, navigation in a GPS-denied environment, and precision landing.
“We are excited about this opportunity to accelerate the technology development of autonomous systems,” said Ian Walsh, Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer. “After several years of working together on our K-MAX TITAN and most recently on KARGO UAV, taking our relationship with Near Earth to the next level will help us accelerate this important technology even faster. In an ever-changing and growing autonomy market, we are confident that our joint expertise will result in highly capable, reliable, affordable and maintainable solutions for both military and commercial applications.”
“This investment represents a major leap forward for both Kaman and Near Earth to enable the next generation of autonomous aerial logistics,” said Sanjiv Singh, CEO of Near Earth. “Kaman has a well-deserved reputation for its robust aircraft specializing in logistics and is a fantastic partner for the development of autonomous cargo transport. We are excited at the opportunity to mature the technology for the commonplace use of autonomous aircraft for logistics across the industry.”