Kraken, BlueHalo to Equip Surface and Submarine Drones With AI, Machine Learning – The Defense Post

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British defense contractor Kraken Technology Group has partnered with BlueHalo to integrate artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) solutions into unmanned surface and underwater systems.

The collaboration will see BlueHalo equip its proprietary autonomous capabilities with various Kraken platforms.

The project encompasses the K3 Scout low-cost, low-signature multi-mission sea drone, the K4 Manta long-range surveillance submarine vehicle, and the K5 Kraken littoral gunship.

Alongside the AI/ML technology, the vehicles will incorporate BlueHalo’s Titan and SkyView radio frequency-based counter-unmanned aerial system payloads, protecting Kraken’s fleet against airborne threats during maritime operations.

K3 Scout low-cost, low-signature multi-mission surface drone. Photo: Kraken Technology Group

“This expansion into the maritime domain is one of several initiatives we have been planning as part of our long-term strategic vision,” BlueHalo CEO Jonathan Moneymaker stated.

“The ability to rapidly and seamlessly adapt current leading technologies to adjacent domains allows us to out innovate adversaries and extend BlueHalo’s ring of protection.”

“Kraken’s innovative spirit and passion for customer success align directly with our DNA and we are excited to be bringing these disruptive offerings to the mission.”

Addressing Market Demand

The consortium wrote that BlueHalo’s AI/ML products will be the “primary core” of Kraken vehicles’ autonomous operations.

This strategy will enhance situational awareness, autonomous navigation and multi-vessel swarming while supporting hybrid maritime and “marsupial” operations.

Furthermore, combining the technologies is expected to produce innovations in maritime autonomy and other novel littoral solutions for national security applications.

Artist rendering of K50 maritime precision engagement platform. Image: Kraken Technology Group

“Partnering so closely with BlueHalo…has demonstrated clear synergies in both vision and expertise,” Kraken Technology Group CEO Mal Crease remarked.

“With this combined effort, Kraken and BlueHalo are working together to expand these innovations across our other vessels and pursue even more opportunities to meet critical customer needs.”

“Game-changing capabilities deployed at pace is our sole objective, and this partnership will ensure our ability to deliver against exponentially growing market demand.”

Recent Kraken Projects

Kraken worked with defense industry partner L3Harris in 2023 to reconfigure and modernize the Manta submarine drone prototype, further improving its performance of carrying 2,200 pounds (1,000 kilograms) of cargo over longer distances.

In 2022, the British firm signed an agreement with Thales to enhance the K5 Kraken’s maritime precision capabilities. Part of this initiative is the integration of the French company’s sensors and the lightweight multi-role missile into the vehicle.

The same year, Kraken announced it had secured additional funding to support its K5 gunship production. The investment was leveraged to construct a dedicated factory in the UK, matching the increased demand for the platform.

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