Lockheed joins Boeing and General Dynamics in betting on ocean drones

Lockheed Martin’s interest in a San Diego start-up shows how big aerospace companies are pushing the drone revolution out to sea.

Lockheed Martin Ventures last month invested an undisclosed amount in San Diego-based Ocean Aero — a 25-employee start-up that is developing the Submaran, a solar- and wind-powered ocean drone capable of operating above and below the surface.

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The next frontier for defense drones may be the world's oceans

The next frontier for unmanned military drones may not be solely in the skies. It could be under the seas.

The U.S. Navy and defense contractors such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin and others are increasingly focusing on ocean drones as the next big market for unmanned technology.

Lockheed Martin Ventures last month invested an undisclosed amount in San Diego-based Ocean Aero – a 25 employee start-up that is developing the Submaran – a solar and wind powered ocean drone capable of operating above and below the surface.

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Robot submarines could soon be used to spy on America’s enemies

More than a decade after airborne drones took flight over battlefields, the world’s biggest defense manufacturers are eyeing a new market below the ocean’s surface.

The Navy recently opened up a competition for unmanned submarines that can navigate autonomously. Chicago-based Boeing has taken an early lead in the fledgling market: The company has developed a 51-foot-long vessel called the Echo Voyager to compete for the contract, and last year it bought a company called Liquid Robotics that focuses on smaller unmanned subs.

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