BlueHalo acquires AI-powered drone startup Citadel Defense to bolster its directed energy and layered perimeter defense capabilities
AI-powered drone startup Citadel Defense announced today it has been acquired by BlueHalo, a mid-market defense innovation company backed by Arlington Capital Partners‘ $1.7B investment fund. The total amount of the deal was not disclosed.
Citadel CEO Chris Williams told Tech Startups in an email that the acquisition will complement BlueHalo’s directed energy and layered perimeter defense capabilities and help BlueHalo secure its leading position in the counter unmanned aerial systems (cUAS) market. The acquisition will also help accelerate the transformation of modern warfare to help save lives and advance the National Security mission.
We’ve been covering Citadel for over two years now. In March, Citadel was awarded multiple counter-drone delivery contracts by ‘Five Eyes,’ a group of intelligence agencies from Australia, Canada, NZ, the UK, and the United States. As part of the contract, Citadel’s Titan counter unmanned aircraft system (cUAS) will be rapidly fielded in response to immediate operational needs.
Founded in 2016 by Daniel Magy, Henrik Borgstrom, and Joseph Makol, the San Diego, California-based Citadel develops an automated and modular drone defense solution that uses proprietary machine learning algorithms to detect and engage unwanted drones. Citadel’s cUAS technology is utilized by customers within the Department of Defense and Intelligence Community, as well as civilian, commercial, and international markets.
Citadel’s cUAS products leverage proprietary artificial intelligence and machine learning (“AI/ML”) algorithms to enable operators to locate drone threats, track flight paths, and autonomously neutralize threats. When defending against drone swarms and difficult-to-detect threats, Citadel’s AI/ML-powered systems allow operators to identify and terminate enemy UAS threats with unmatched speed, accuracy, and reliability.
BlueHalo is a rapidly expanding national security platform with market-leading capabilities spanning directed energy, cUAS, space superiority, space technology, advanced RF, autonomy, and cyber & SIGINT. The acquisition of Citadel complements BlueHalo’s directed energy and layered perimeter defense capabilities where the company delivers a full suite of products including the Locust Laser Weapon System and Argus Perimeter Security Solution. Citadel’s cUAS capabilities coupled with BlueHalo’s existing portfolio of proprietary technology will uniquely enable the company to deliver multi-modal, unified cUAS solutions that support the warfighter and protect critical infrastructure.
“Citadel has established itself as a leader in the cUAS market and continues to innovate at a pace necessary to stay ahead of the rapidly evolving threat environment. We are incredibly excited to partner with the Citadel team as we continue to expand our cUAS capabilities and deliver transformative, market-leading solutions to our customers,” said Jonathan Moneymaker, CEO of BlueHalo. “The combination of Citadel and BlueHalo’s unique technologies, deep mission intimacy, and systematic approach to innovation will accelerate our technology roadmap and allow us to rapidly field technologies critical to the warfighter.”
David Wodlinger, a Partner at Arlington Capital Partners, said, “The increasing sophistication and widespread availability of UAS represents a critical and growing threat vector that will increasingly become a top priority for more and more organizations. Citadel has developed an innovative cUAS solution that we believe counters this threat in a differentiated way, positioning the Company to capture an outsized share of this large and growing market.”
Chris Williams, CEO of Citadel, shared, “Under the BlueHalo platform, our new and existing customers will benefit from an expanded set of capabilities, talent, and resources to achieve greater mission impact. We are excited to join an innovative company that we know will continue to push the boundaries of what is possible.”
Henry Albers, a Vice President at Arlington Capital Partners, said, “The Citadel team is passionate about developing cutting-edge technology to address novel security threats, making this acquisition an excellent fit from a cultural perspective. We are excited to welcome these talented engineers to the organization as well as incorporate Citadel’s technology into BlueHalo’s rapidly expanding portfolio of proprietary solutions.”