American aerospace and defence technology company Shield AI has officially launched its V-BAT Teams artificial intelligence pilot for aircraft.
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V-BAT Teams enables multiple V-BATs to autonomously execute missions in electronically contested environments while reading and reacting to adversaries, the environment, and to other V-BATs executing the mission, according to a public statement made by the company on 9 October.
The system comes in the form of a modular Nvidia GPU upgrade running Hivemind, Shield AI’s AI pilot, which is loaded into the modular payload bay of the V-BAT.
“V-BAT Teams is the first step in intelligent, affordable mass not as a concept, but as an operational product,” according to Brandon Tseng, Shield AI co-founder and president, and a former Navy SEAL.
“We’re starting with a team size of four V-BATs, but that number will double annually for the foreseeable future.
“Four V-BATs that work together in electronic warfare environments and as part of a human-machine team are an incredible force multiplier.
“Ultimately, V-BAT Teams, as the team size increases, give squads the combat power of a battalion, or battalions the combat power of a corps or division.”
Tseng said V-BAT Teams enables warfighters to have 24/7 comprehensive coverage over large geographic regions to find, fix, and target thousands of enemy assets in operational, electronically contested areas at an affordable price.
“Intelligent, swarming aircraft are the key to air dominance and more importantly, to deterrence. Our nation is faced with the difficult reality that our pilots are too few and the rules-based autonomy solutions are too dumb for such swarms to exist. Shield AI changes this,” said Ryan Tseng, Shield AI’s chief executive officer and co-founder.
“For almost nine years, Shield AI has focused on building the world’s best AI pilot from a common AI backbone that is relevant and deployable to any aircraft – from quadcopters to F-16s.
“The technology is ready when we need it most. I’m pleased to announce that intelligent teams of V-BATs, powered by Hivemind, can be purchased today and will be on the battlefield in 2024.”
It’s understood V-BAT Teams will have the ability to operate autonomously in high-threat environments without dependence on GPS or communications and be able to start with smaller formations in 2023 and scale to support hundreds and even thousands of aircraft in future deployments.
V-BAT Teams is also expected to receive quarterly software updates and biennial autonomy compute payload releases. V-BAT Teams deliveries are expected to occur in 2024.