AI-Pilot Flies & Controls Kratos Target Drone

Kratos and Shield AI use the tactical Firejet as the first application of Shield AI's Hivemind pilot on the Kratos family of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) By Joe Macey / 05 Apr 2024
AI-Pilot Flies & Controls Kratos Target Drone
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Kratos Defense & Security Solutions and Shield AI have completed the first phase of Shield’s AI-piloted flight-testing on-board the Kratos family of unmanned aerial systems (UAS).

Having successfully flown Artificial Intelligence (AI) pilots on five aircraft — Shield AI’s Hivemind AI pilot has now flown on and controlled the Kratos Tactical Firejet. 

These successful flights are seen as a major milestone in the comprehensive integration project as Shield AI and Kratos look to ultimately productize another configuration of the Valkyrie, in this case with Shield AI’s Hivemind AI pilot.

“Our substantial investments in autonomy and AI design tools, infrastructure, and pipelines are what enable Shield AI to rapidly integrate Hivemind onto different classes of aircraft and most importantly, fly them safely,” said Ryan Tseng, Shield AI’s CEO and Co-Founder.

We’re getting faster and faster. It was over three years from signing the contract to flying the F-16; now, it’s less than 180 days for the Kratos Firejet. The vision of portable autonomy software for military hardware has been realized, flown, and deployed by Shield AI.”

“The ability of our teams (Kratos and Shield AI) to collaborate and work together as two commercial entities driving toward technical mission capability solutions and systems to ultimately support the DoD provides a rapid path to system realization. Firejet is the first; there’s more to come and we’re excited about the technology, what it enables, the speed at which we can create and deliver these systems, and the broad application space and impact that these high capability, affordable UAS provide to the warfighter,” added Steve Fendley, President of Kratos’ Unmanned Systems Division.

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