Drone killer teams up with US defence heavyweight, shares surge 38 pc
In what has been described as a ‘company making’ move, counter-drone tech Department 13 has joined forces with US tech giant Raytheon.
The move put a rocket under its share price, sending it shooting up 32 per cent on Monday.
Under the agreement Raytheon, which netted $24 billion in sales in 2016, will initially take on marketing and sales for Department 13’s lead MESMER technology that detects and redirects drones.
Chief Jonathan Hunter told Stockhead the partnership would allow the company to chase bigger opportunities.
“We’re no longer just the cool kid with cool tech, now we’ve got the backing to make a real impression on the market,” he said.
And the market was quick to react – shares in Department 13 (ASX:D13) surging as much as 53 per cent to settle at 11.5c at close, up 38.5 per cent.
Shares have traded between 6.6c and 18.5c over the past 12 months.
Raytheon is a technology company specialising in defence, civil government and cybersecurity.
“Commercial drones continue to be affordable, yet effective tools for our adversaries to target U.S. and allied forces,” said Bob Busey, director for drones at Raytheon Intelligence, Information and Services.
“We will work with D13 to bring unique counter-drone technologies to defend against these growing threats.”
But Mr Hunter said the opportunities weren’t limited to just their first product, and would allow them to sell globally.
“This is a company maker because it validates our technology and our capabilities to deliver,” he told Stockhead.
“What this does do is allow us to go after the big opportunities and more significant volumes… All I can say is that 2018 will be very different to 2017.”
The latest version of their MESMER system costs upwards of $500,000 and can target and take control of drones in flight, forcing them to land.
Earlier this year D13 landed three contracts including for several Latin American prisons, but are said to own 17 patents and 28 patent applications fin the development of wireless manipulation and drone defence.