Shield AI awarded max AFWERX STRATFI contract
Shield AI, the San Diego, CA-based aviation autonomy company using self-driving software to enable collaborative teams of unmanned aircraft to operate in GPS- and RF-denied environments, announced on January 27 that it has been awarded the maximum amount through the Air Force’s Strategic Funding Increase (STRATFI) Program, in conjunction with Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), to accelerate the integration of its Hivemind autonomy software into various military and commercial platforms.
The STRATFI program leverages the capabilities of promising private companies, whose technologies have the potential to make a positive impact for personnel serving in the U.S. Air Force, Space Force, and other branches of the U.S. military. Through a rigorous application process, STRATFI identifies companies that consistently meet Department of Defense (DoD) requirements and are positioned to win multiple programs of record.
“AFWERX is committed to quickly scaling in a way that helps our Airmen, and in this case, Soldiers, field emerging technologies that support key operational capabilities. Finding strong AI companies that can bring that capability to the operator will continue to be a key thrust area,” said Col. Nathan P. Diller, AFWERX director.
The advancement of Hivemind supports the concept of AI for Small Unit Maneuver (AISUM), as outlined in AFSOC’s “Big 5” innovation initiatives. The AISUM capabilities achieved via this STRATFI effort provide the Air Force and other services the ability to employ teams of highly intelligent Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) to operate in highly contested domains.
“The AFWERX STRATFI with Shield AI will advance the autonomous collaboration capabilities of AFSOC’s UAS enabling them to team with Air Commandos in complex environments. Human-machine teaming is a critical capability for AFSOC’s broader transformation for strategic competition,” said Brig. Gen. Justin Hoffman, director of strategic plans, programs and requirements for Air Force Special Operations Command.
Additionally, through the STRATFI program, Shield AI will start integration of Hivemind onto a commercial eVTOL aircraft – Beta Technologies’ ALIA, an Air Force Agility Prime platform. Integration will be in simulation to build the foundation for a follow-on full platform integration.
Source: Shield AI
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