AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVAV), a global leader in intelligent, multi-domain robotic systems, today announced the successful maritime demonstration of Interoperability to Interchangeability (I2I) operations by the U.S. Navy and Royal Navy using AeroVironment’s Puma™ 3 AE small unmanned aircraft systems.
The demonstration was part of a combined event – International Maritime Exercise 2022/Cutlass Express 2022 (IMX/CE 22) – that took place from Feb. 6-17, 2022.
IMX/CE 22 is the largest maritime exercise in the Middle East with more than 60 partner nations and organizations participating with 9,000 personnel and 50 ships. IMX/CE 22 was also the largest maritime unmanned systems exercise to date with more than 80 unmanned systems, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), unmanned surface vessels (USVs) and unmanned undersea vehicles (UUVs).
The I2I capability demonstration was supported by AeroVironment as part of the U.S. 5th Fleet’s Task Force 59 team, denoted as Task Force X (TF-X), participating in IMX/CE 22. TF-X was comprised of various multinational government and industry partners working together to integrate and demonstrate new unmanned systems capabilities for U.S. and coalition naval forces in a series of pre-planned serials.
During the exercise, AeroVironment’s Blue Hotel computer vision and analytics solution demonstrated the visual identification of maritime targets simultaneously from multiple UAV and USV video feeds in real-time during all of the TF-X serials. It was also used by the U.S. Navy as the primary video repository and distribution hub for TF-X, providing all coalition partners with access to real-time video feeds and artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) analytic results for Maritime Domain Awareness (MDA). The advanced AI/ML software enabled the warfighters to quickly sift through the large amounts of video data, pinpointing individual vessels of interest, and providing real time information on their activities throughout the exercise.
Built upon past demonstrations, such as REP(MUS) 21 and 2018 U.S. Navy Coastal Riverine Craft maritime S2S exercises, these successful I2I operations coupled with Blue Hotel’s automated target recognition and MDA capabilities offer a glimpse at the maritime and autonomy product capability expansions AeroVironment’s MacCready Works Advanced Solutions team is spearheading.
Jeff Rodrian, AeroVironment vice president of AV Ventures.