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August 25, 2022

US AFLCMC awards contract to build autonomous swarming AI munitions

The Web Weasels solution allows commanders to plan, task and manage multiple swarming assets.

Liteye Systems and Unmanned Experts have secured a contract to build Web Weasels (WW) autonomous swarming artificially intelligent munitions for the US Air Force (USAF).

The $1.8m, one-year contract has been awarded by Air Force Life Cycle Management Centre (AFLCMC) Armament Directorate.

A part of Unmanned Experts parent programme called Air Commons -Swarm, WW allows commanders to plan, task and manage various swarming assets via a Swarm ATO and Swarm Engine. 

Unmanned Experts’ WW uses one building, three teams and training artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) Playbook algorithms, and one testing Human-Swarm Interface (HSwI) configurations.

WW will use Advanced Framework for Simulation, Integration, and Modelling to run trial iterations.

It will then fly suitably equipped small uncrewed aerial system (UAS) to imitate autonomous stand-off munitions against Liteye’s SHIELD Counter-UAS systems to further emulate an enemy integrated radar threat.

Unmanned Experts CEO Keven Gambold said: “The Armament Directorate is pursuing ideas that permit Blue Forces to command various collaborative weapons systems and coordinated tactics to ensure success.

“A dynamic battlespace requires automated, adaptive weapons systems and cooperative tactics as well as AI algorithms with ‘dialable’ human influence.

“WW’s goal is for swarm operators to be able to train and deploy AI collaborative autonomous munitions rapidly and globally on any mission type.”

The autonomous collaborative munition squadrons, operating at risk, require tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) to manage speed-of-datalink environments during modern combat.

WW technology seeks to integrate AI/ML trained algorithms with Air Commons – Swarm’s capabilities. This combination helps deliver pre-launch munitions with TTPs for a specified mission set.

The munitions will be launched with AI-on-the-edge hardware and firmware, enabling collaborative assessment of the combat environment.

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