AI pilot to be integrated on 8th NAVAIR aircraft by Shield AI – Military Embedded Systems

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March 13, 2024

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Dan Taylor

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

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U.S. Navy photo

SAN DIEGO, California. Shield AI won a contract from Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR PMA-281) to integrate its Hivemind artificial intelligence (AI) pilot into the Kratos BQM-177A as part of an initiative to enhance the aircraft with advanced AI-based autonomy capabilities, the company announced in a statement.

The company says the Hivemind AI pilot is designed for autonomous operation in high-threat environments, eliminating the need for remote operators or GPS. It has been employed in various aircraft types, including quadcopters, the MQ-35A V-BAT, and the F-16, and the company compares the system’s capabilities to autonomous technology in self-driving cars.

Shield AI’s approach for the Navy contract involves a specialized AI architecture using a methodology that is intended to advance collaborative tactics among multiple sensor-equipped or shooter-equipped uncrewed aircraft, enhancing defensive counterair operations, the statement reads.

The integration of Hivemind into the Kratos BQM-177A marks the eighth distinct aircraft type to be fitted with Shield AI’s technology, the statement adds.

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