Oculus founder and fallen Facebook exec Palmer Luckey is dipping his toes into military weaponry.
Luckey’s new venture, Anduril Industries, just revealed that it is not just making security surveillance systems for land borders and military bases—it’s making attack drones too.
In a pair of profiles, one in Bloomberg, one in NBC, the company demonstrated its new technology, a drone that can autonomously identify a target and fly at up to 200 miles per hour to knock them out of the air. The drone fits into Anduril's existing perimeter defense hardware and software suite, which includes other drones and surveillance towers.
“Unmanned aerial systems have long been notoriously difficult to defend against: they are widely available, inexpensive, and dangerous in the wrong hands,” Anduril CEO Brian Schimpf said in an emailed statement to The Daily Beast.
“Our counter-UAS solution applies automated target acquisition to give human operators the capability to quickly and effectively neutralize these growing aerial threats.”
The fast-moving startup began shipping the drones, called “Interceptors,” to the U.S. and U.K. military earlier this year and is apparently already deploying them abroad to unspecified conflict zones.
According to Bloomberg’s report, Anduril’s Interceptors aren’t just aiming to batter other drones out of the sky. In the future, the company would like its drones to fend off attacks from “ultralight aircraft, or a helicopter, or a cruise missile.”
Coordinated with Anduril’s flurry of press for its latest plans, blue chip venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz confirmed reports that it would invest in the company at a valuation around $1 billion, joining Founders Fund and General Catalyst.
“As with all of our investments, this is a bet on not just the technology (breathtaking) and the market (enormous) but also the people (outstanding),” Marc Andreessen wrote in a breathless blog post announcing the investment.
“Palmer Luckey is a founder and technology visionary we are proud to be backing for the second time, after Oculus.”