U.S. and Australian AI companies team up in line with AUKUS Pillar 2

By Georgina DiNardo / October 23, 2023 at 12:12 PM

Shield AI, a U.S. defense technology company, today announced a multiyear agreement with Australia-based Sentient Vision Systems, touting the teaming as aligned with Pillar 2 of the trilateral AUKUS agreement and focused on real-time situational awareness enabled by artificial intelligence.

“The supply contract is a multi-year, multi-units’ agreement, with first deliveries planned for 2024,” Sentient’s CEO Mark Palmer said in a joint statement from the companies.

The companies previously announced their partnership in working to develop a “ViDAR-enabled, wide-area-search capability into Shield AI’s V-BAT unmanned aircraft.”

Sentient developed ViDAR, an AI system that uses Electro-Optic or Infrared sensor to identify and classify targets invisible to the human eye or a conventional radar in the imagery stream.

The partnership hopes ViDAR will enhance V-BAT’s capabilities, allowing the unmanned system to identify, follow and read-and-react to targets during dynamic missions.

The companies said they intend to create the most advanced AI-piloted sensor package in the world by teaming up to combine Sentient’s ViDAR and Shield AI’s Hivemind.

“Our partnership with Sentient Vision marks a major advancement in AI-driven situational awareness,” said Brandon Tseng, Shield AI’s president and co-founder. “Integrating ViDAR with our V-BAT platform showcases our dedication to giving allied warfighters the best AI tools so they can achieve a clear strategic edge.”

The announcement occurs days before House lawmakers are set to hear Defense Department and Navy officials speak about their ability to deliver on the AUKUS security partnership.

The companies said their partnership is aligned the goals of AUKUS Pillar 2, which focuses on developing, sharing and fielding advanced technology capabilities between the United States, United Kingdom and Australia.

“The confirmation of our long-term relationship absolutely reflects the AI technology workstream that is underlined in the AUKUS Pillar 2,” Palmer said. “Innovation stemmed from our computer vision AI-enabled ViDAR and Shield AI’s Hivemind will provide commanders with immediate situational awareness and survivability of our warfighters.”