Kratos Defense, a technology company specializing in defense and security solutions, has entered into an agreement with Shield AI, a defense technology company, to integrate and introduce an AI pilot for Kratos' XQ-58 Valkyrie. This collaboration brings the concept of crewed-uncrewed teaming to jet aircraft by leveraging Shield AI's advanced AI pilot technology.
The significance of this integration is underscored by the challenges faced by Ukraine, which is losing approximately 10,000 drones per month due to Russian electronic warfare tactics. The Russians effectively disrupt communications and GPS, rendering uncrewed aircraft ineffective in future conflicts. Shield AI's AI Pilots, however, enable teams of aircraft to intelligently carry out missions even in the absence of GPS and communications, offering a game-changing strategic deterrent.
The XQ-58 Valkyrie is among the few uncrewed jet aircraft currently in operation and production. Close collaboration between Kratos and Shield AI on the XQ-58 will expedite the development of intelligent uncrewed jet aircraft. Ryan Tseng, Shield AI's Co-founder and CEO, highlights the exceptional potential of the Valkyrie, stating that it serves as an ideal starting point for integrating their AI pilot technology.
Shield AI has already developed an AI pilot that has been deployed in combat situations on various platforms, including a quadcopter, their own V-BAT Group 3 unmanned aircraft system, and a modified F-16 fighter jet. The company's expertise in AI pilot technology and its successful track record make it an ideal partner for Kratos.
Kratos, on the other hand, is a leading producer of jet drones with an annual production capacity of approximately 150 units. Their range of tactical jet drones, including the Tactical Firejet, Mako, Valkyrie, and others, offer cost-efficiency, reliability, and versatility. Kratos has secured contracts with several branches of the United States military, including the Air Force, Navy, Army, and Marine Corps.
The collaboration between Kratos and Shield AI brings together the best of both worlds. By combining Kratos' proven uncrewed jet aircraft with key performance capabilities and Shield AI's intelligent and capable AI pilots, the partnership is uniquely positioned to rapidly introduce the market's first and best crewed-uncrewed teaming aircraft. Eric Demarco, CEO of Kratos, emphasizes the significance of this collaboration and the potential impact it can have on the market.
This integration marks a milestone in the development of AI pilot technology for jet aircraft and opens up new possibilities for advanced defense capabilities. The partnership between Kratos and Shield AI demonstrates their commitment to pushing the boundaries of innovation and delivering cutting-edge solutions to meet the evolving needs of the defense industry.