Since our last competitor highlight on Huntington Ingalls Industries (HII), the company has fully integrated its acquisition of Alion Science and Technology into HII’s Mission Technologies division, formerly known as Technical Solutions.
For this blog, we will focus on Alion’s impact on HII’s Mission Technologies division. HII reported an FY2022 annual revenue of $10.7 billion, approximately 22% of which was generated by the Mission Technologies Division.
New and shiny offerings
With the acquisition of Alion, HII gained advanced engineering and research and development (R&D) service capabilities in the areas of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR); cyber solutions; data analytics; and military training and simulation. Alion’s core capabilities include airborne sensor integration, sensor fusion and visualization development, natural language processing and AI/ML for intelligence analysis, big data platform (BDP) and analytics, enterprise scale cloud migration, electronic warfare RDT&E, simulation for live virtual constructive (LVC) training, and Navy enterprise live training range digital integration for multi-domain ops training.
Alion also brings its August 2018 acquisition of MacAulay-Brown (MacB), which operated as a subsidiary to Alion with 1,500 employees focused on advanced engineering, cybersecurity, and product solutions.
After the Alion acquisition, HII deployed and marketed new technologies, demonstrating that HII now has more to offer its customers:
- Real-Time Automated Visualization Environment (RAVE) – Legacy Alion tool that enables whole-world training using the commercial game engine Unity3D as a framework. RAVE provides live-streaming, full-motion video and imagery products for use during synthetic training.
- Rfsentry™– Uses a combination of antennas, receivers, interfacing hardware, and customized software developed by legacy Alion to conduct long-term continuous monitoring and reporting of the spectrum or short-term characterizations of the RF environment. Rfsentry notifies users to threshold violations as they occur and allows for ML algorithms to detect unusual electromagnetic activity and classify signals based on characteristics.
- Volumetric Integrative Propagation Engine for Ray-Tracing (VIPER) – Legacy Alion tool that performs 3D propagation modeling and simulation to accurately predict the behavior of dense 5G deployments essential to creating smart cities and Internet of Things (IoT). VIPER’s analysis scenarios can be leveraged to provide small cell based stations, Low Earth Orbit satellite constellations, government / commercial spectrum sharing arrangements, or vehicle and transportation networks.
Embracing a more balanced customer portfolio
Over the last two years, HII has lost a significant amount of Coast Guard funding because several Coast Guard contracts expired around end of 2020 through 2021 and early 2022.
However, the company has seen a 642% increase in the U.S. Air Force portfolio, making the agency HII’s second largest customer by revenue. Over the last year, HII gained new work in the U.S. Air Force through wins in technical areas gained through Alion. The growth of their U.S. Air Force portfolio is impressive despite a significant loss of the AFMS3 contract in 2020. A few of the Alion enabled noteworthy wins include:
- U.S. Department of the Air Force, Air Mobility Command (AMC), Mobility Air Force Distributed Mission Operations (MAF DMO) Task Order – In July 2022, HII was awarded a six-year, $79 million ceiling value task order under the U.S. Air Force’s Training Systems Acquisition III contract to support Air Mobility Command’s Mobility Air Force Distributed Mission Operations (MAF DMO) operations and integration to enable persistent, distributed training of aircrews worldwide. HII’s live, virtual, and constructive (LVC) capabilities support a wide range of joint and combined exercises. HII also operates and maintains the Distributed Training Center and the Distributed Training Center Network to support global Aircrew Training Systems.
- U.S. Department of the Air Force, Air Force Life Cycle Management Center (AFLCMC), Electronic Warfare and Avionics Division, Advanced Capabilities and Strategic Integration Team, Electromagnetic Superiority Development Task Order – In September 2022, HII was awarded a five-year, $77 million ceiling value DOD IAC MAC task order to provide research, testing, and assessments on electronic warfare and electromagnetic spectrum capabilities for the U.S. Air Force. Work under this contract includes providing technical recommendations for electronic warfare and electromagnetic spectrum modernization and development to assist with technical risk reduction and warfare survivability improvement.
- U.S. Department of the Air Force, Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Technical Analysis and Research Task Order – In November 2022, HII was awarded a $70 million ceiling value DOD IAC MAC task order to provide technical research and analysis and recommend enhancements for the AFRL in support of the U.S. Air Force’s AI/ML and cyber modernization priorities. Under this contract, HII provides strategic planning; capabilities definition; system engineering; data analytics and visualization; modeling, simulation and analysis; cloud technologies, and cross domain solutions.
The FedSavvy Strategies Takeaway
- Although shipbuilding remains core to HII’s business, the company has continued to invest in expanding the capabilities of their Mission Technologies division by way of acquisition, with Alion being the most recent in a string of acquisitions that we discussed in our previous competitor highlight on HII. This has helped diversify HII’s offerings to align with a wider array of customer needs.
- HII’s acquisition of Alion demonstrates a major expansion into ISR, EW, cyber, analytics, and training and simulation capabilities and appears to be the main driver behind growth within the Mission Technologies division.
- HII has demonstrated a strong focus on expanding their Air Force customer footprint through recent contract wins in new service areas as part of their overall strategy to diversify their DoD customer base.
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