Military Embedded Systems

AI pilot to be integrated on 8th NAVAIR aircraft by Shield AI


March 13, 2024

Dan Taylor

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

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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