Shield AI has successfully completed an autonomous teaming demonstration featuring three V-BAT Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS).
Shield AI showcased its Hivemind AI pilot by launching a team of three V-BATs to monitor and surveil simulated wildfires.
The multi-agent, coordinated team conducted Detect, Identify, Locate, and Report (DILR) missions in a contingency scenario with dual-use applications.
Hivemind can be trained for a variety of missions and its modular open systems architecture enables portability to other aircraft. It has flown quadcopters, V-BATs, and jet aircraft.
Hivemind can also be trained to undertake a broad range of missions, including integrated air defense breach, SCUD missile hunting, zone reconnaissance, counter-air, beyond-visual-range strike, maritime domain awareness, and communications-contested operations.
This accomplishment was the final milestone of an AFWERX autonomy effort under their Strategic Funding Increase (STRATFI) program and collaboration with the AFRL Sensors Directorate.
This work with AFWERX sets Shield AI on a path to deploy V-BAT teaming capabilities in GPS- and- communications-denied environments in the next year.
“Intelligent, affordable mass that can see everything on the battlefield, execute the mission even when GPS and comms are denied or degraded, and put all our adversaries’ military assets at risk at all times is the holy grail of deterrence. This milestone brings us closer to achieving that reality,” said Brandon Tseng, Shield AI’s President, Co-founder and former U.S. Navy SEAL.
“Autonomy on V-BAT directly supports our autonomy efforts on uncrewed jet aircraft. Beyond our autonomy stack being leveraged across different aircraft, what sets this autonomy effort apart from others is that it was deployed on a program-of-record aircraft and will be a fielded capability next year. Many DoD-funded efforts, unfortunately, never reach the hands of a warfighter. However, Shield AI and AFWERX decided from the start that we would field this capability within the DoD. The great thing is all our DoD customers — the Army, the Navy, the Marines, SOCOM, and the Air Force — will benefit from this AFWERX effort. Autonomy is a joint capability,” said Ryan Tseng, CEO and Co-founder of Shield AI.
“What’s exciting to us is not just the capability that teaming V-BATs can bring to the table or how it’s on a great path for fielding with DoD partners, but how autonomy stacks can be leveraged across different aircraft and programs. The continual application of autonomy from small systems, now V-BAT, and onto larger platforms provides paths for industry progression and autonomy maturation. The criticality of autonomous capabilities for future programs of record within the DoD was the driver for this Shield AI – AFWERX effort,” said Col. Tom Meagher, AFWERX Prime Division Chief.