AeroVironment Inc. announced Wednesday that it had acquired the intelligent systems group of Progeny Systems Corp. for $30 million. AeroVironment’s stock surged on Wednesday.

The Simi Valley unmanned aircraft manufacturer will pay Progeny in Manassas, Va. an additional $6 million over three years if specific performance targets are met.

The intelligent systems group’s Virginia facility will now operate as the new Artificial Intelligence Innovation Center for AeroVironment.

Chief Executive Wahid Nawabi said the group’s team is responsible for developing some of the most advanced artificial intelligence technologies and capabilities for U.S. government customers, including the Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force.

“Acquiring (the intelligent systems group) will enhance the intelligence of our growing, multi-domain robotic systems portfolio, increase customer-funded research and development revenue and deepen our relationships with strategically important customers,” Nawabi said in a statement.

The intelligent systems group was founded in 2006 and does research and development of machine learning and autonomy capabilities for the Pentagon and intelligence customers. Its software performs automated analysis of still and video imagery from multiple sources, including unmanned aircraft, to detect specific objects and perform change detection assessment, AeroVironment said in a release.

Shares in AeroVironment (AVAV) closed up $4.30, or just less than 4 percent, to $117.11 on the Nasdaq, on a day when that market closed up 1 percent.