Future concept: AI-enabled X-58s and F-35s conducting crewed-uncrewed teaming operations

Shield AI and Kratos Team up to Integrate AI Pilot on Valkyrie XQ-58

Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. (Nasdaq: KTOS), a Technology Company in the Defense, National Security and Global Markets, and Shield AI, Inc., a defense technology company building the world’s best AI pilot, have signed an agreement to integrate and bring to market an AI pilot built by Shield AI for Kratos’ XQ-58 Valkyrie, making real the concept of crewed-uncrewed teaming for jet aircraft.

Ukraine is losing 10,000 drones per month due to Russian electronic warfare – primarily because the Russians are jamming communications and GPS. If an uncrewed aircraft is unable to operate without GPS and without communications, it will be near useless in future conflicts. AI Pilots enable teams of aircraft to intelligently execute missions without GPS and communications. When you take an incredible, affordable uncrewed jet aircraft like the XQ-58 and pair it up with our AI pilot, you create a game-changing strategic deterrent.

Brandon Tseng, Shield AI’s Cofounder and President, who is also a former Navy SEAL
Shield AI CEO Ryan Tseng and Kratos Senior Vice President for Business Development and Strategy Jeff Herro together in Kratos’ tactical drone facility.

The Valkyrie is one of a very few number of uncrewed jet aircraft that are flying today, ramping in production, and are ready for AI pilot integration. Close integration and access with Kratos on the XQ-58 will enable the productization of intelligent uncrewed jet aircraft on a timeline that is, quite frankly, going to shock some people. Ultimately our AI pilots will be flying many uncrewed jet aircraft, but I can’t think of a better uncrewed jet to start with than the Valkyrie.

Ryan Tseng, Shield AI’s Cofounder and CEO

Shield AI has developed a combat-deployed AI pilot that has flown on a variety of platforms, including a quadcopter, their own manufactured Group 3 unmanned aircraft system called the V-BAT, and a modified F-16 fighter jet.

Kratos has active production lines producing approximately 150 jet drones annually, including Valkyrie, and a family of affordable, expendable, and attritable tactical jet drones flying today, including Tactical Firejet, Mako, Valkyrie and others, with actual known cost points of approximately $400,000 to $6.5 million and multiple contracts with the United States Air Force, Navy, Army, Marine Corps and others.

Future concept: AI-enabled X-58s and F-35s conducting crewed-uncrewed teaming operations

By taking the most cost-efficient, proven, existing and in production uncrewed jets, with key performance capabilities, and pairing them with the most intelligent, capable, and proven AI pilots, Kratos and Shield AI are uniquely positioned to rapidly bring the first and best crewed-uncrewed teaming aircraft to market.

Eric Demarco, CEO of Kratos

Source: Shield AI news release

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