Saronic Raises $55M Series A to Mass-Produce Autonomous Drone Boats for US Navy, UK

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Saronic, a drone boat manufacturer based in South London, has secured $55 million in Series A funding to advance research and development and expand its in-house manufacturing capabilities. The funding will be used to mass-produce autonomous drone boats for the US Navy, with the aim of revolutionizing naval warfare and providing a new generation of robot warships.

Drone boats, also known as naval drones or Uncrewed Surface Vessels (USVs), have gained significant attention due to their use in the Ukraine conflict. Ukraine has successfully employed various types of drone boats in kamikaze attacks against Russian ships and infrastructure. Saronic, however, has been working on this technology for years, and their vision extends beyond one-off attacks. The company is developing robot boats to assist in a broad range of maritime missions.

According to co-founder and former US Marine Rob Lehman, Saronic is building platforms that integrate with payloads and sensors, enabling diverse mission requirements in anti-surface vessel, anti-submarine warfare, anti-aircraft operations, and more. The company designs its boats specifically for missions relevant to the US Navy, tailoring the vessels to the mission rather than vice versa.

Saronic has already introduced two drone boat models: the six-foot Spyglass and the thirteen-foot Cutlass. Equipped with advanced sensors and a high level of autonomy, these boats go beyond remote-controlled vessels operated by humans via video feeds. They are capable of carrying out missions independently.

Lehman emphasizes that Saronic’s autonomy capabilities extend far beyond basic navigation. The boat’s autonomy includes complex behaviors involving multiple vessels, such as coordinating movements to locate a target while sharing information with a human overseer. This aligns with the Navy’s Super Swarm project, which envisions coordinated attacks by groups of drone boats, aerial drones, and miniature robot submarines.

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One key aspect of Saronic’s approach is affordability. The company aims to produce boats that are inexpensive yet capable of surviving multiple missions. While Ukraine’s remote-controlled kamikaze boats are expendable, Saronic’s drone boats are designed to endure. Nonetheless, they will be affordable enough to be easily replaced when necessary, allowing commanders to make strategic sacrifices without hesitation.

Dino Mavrookas, another co-founder and former Navy SEAL, emphasizes that Saronic stands out in the drone boat market. Unlike other companies that attempt to adapt new technology to legacy hardware, Saronic started as a tech company with the goal of delivering capabilities to the US Department of Defense through boats. The company develops software and hardware side-by-side to create efficient integrated vessels.

Saronic’s vision aligns with the broader trend of tech companies transforming traditional defense sectors dominated by established contractors. The company’s goal is to augment the surface fleet with small, attritable platforms that act as stand-off vessels, allowing crewed vessels to remain at a safer distance from the enemy while uncrewed vessels serve as their eyes, ears, and potential weapons delivery platforms.

Some of Saronic’s drone boats may be designed for one-way attack runs, similar to their Ukrainian counterparts. Others will be equipped with various sensors to identify targets, assess the effects of strikes, or engage in electronic warfare. Saronic acknowledges the urgency of its mission, particularly regarding competition with China, and aims to deliver innovative solutions at a rapid pace.

The recent $55 million Series A funding round, led by Caffeinated Capital and featuring participation from several venture capital firms, will fuel Saronic’s efforts to create affordable and capable drone boats that meet the critical needs of the US Navy. By focusing on technological advancements and mission effectiveness, Saronic aims to reshape naval warfare and deliver unprecedented capabilities to the defense sector.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Related to the Above News

What is Saronic?

Saronic is a drone boat manufacturer based in South London.

What is the purpose of the recent funding secured by Saronic?

The funding will be used to advance research and development and expand in-house manufacturing capabilities to mass-produce autonomous drone boats for the US Navy.

What are drone boats?

Drone boats, also known as naval drones or Uncrewed Surface Vessels (USVs), are autonomous boats that can carry out missions independently.

What is Saronic's vision for drone boats?

Saronic aims to develop drone boats that can assist in a broad range of maritime missions, including anti-surface vessel, anti-submarine warfare, anti-aircraft operations, and more.

What autonomous capabilities do Saronic's drone boats possess?

Saronic's drone boats have advanced autonomy capabilities that go beyond basic navigation. They can coordinate movements with multiple vessels, share information with a human overseer, and operate as part of coordinated groups of drone boats, aerial drones, and miniature robot submarines.

How does Saronic approach affordability with its drone boats?

Saronic aims to produce affordable yet capable drone boats that are designed to endure multiple missions. This allows the boats to be strategically sacrificed when necessary, without hesitating to replace them.

How does Saronic stand out from other companies in the drone boat market?

Unlike other companies, Saronic started as a tech company with the goal of delivering capabilities to the US Department of Defense through boats. They develop software and hardware side-by-side to create efficient integrated vessels.

What is Saronic's goal in transforming the defense sector?

Saronic aims to augment the surface fleet with small, attritable drone boats that act as stand-off vessels, allowing crewed vessels to remain at a safer distance from the enemy while the uncrewed vessels serve as their eyes, ears, and potential weapons delivery platforms.

How does Saronic plan to deliver innovative solutions rapidly?

Saronic acknowledges the urgency of its mission, particularly regarding competition with China, and aims to deliver innovative solutions by focusing on technological advancements and mission effectiveness.

Who led the recent funding round for Saronic?

The recent $55 million Series A funding round was led by Caffeinated Capital.

What is the aim of Saronic's funding efforts?

Saronic's funding efforts aim to create affordable and capable drone boats that meet the critical needs of the US Navy, with a focus on technological advancements and mission effectiveness.

Please note that the FAQs provided on this page are based on the news article published. While we strive to provide accurate and up-to-date information, it is always recommended to consult relevant authorities or professionals before making any decisions or taking action based on the FAQs or the news article.

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