Shield AI signs agreement to acquire Martin UAV

US-based artificial intelligence and technology company Shield AI has reached an agreement to acquire unmanned systems provider Martin UAV, which will see the former company integrate its Hivemind autonomy software into the V-BAT vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft.

Detailing the agreement in a July 28 release Shield AI said its autonomous capabilities enabled the “training” of unmanned systems to execute a variety of missions – from infantry clearance operations to breaching integrated air defence systems with unmanned aircraft. 

V-BAT unmanned system
The V-BAT unmanned system has been designed to be operated with a minimal footprint and the integration of Shield AI's Hivemind capability is intended to enhance its autonomous functions. Martin UAV 

“Our team extensively examined the VTOL aircraft market. The architecture of the V-BAT is special. It looks different because it is different – no product or technical architecture is better positioned to meet current and future [US] Department of Defence needs,” said Ryan Tseng, Shield AI CEO.

Ruben Martin, CEO of Martin UAV, said the integration of Hivemind would make the V-BAT system “the first and only Group 3 UAS” built for sustained operations in denied environments.

Martin UAV’s V-BAT has more than two years of operational experience at sea in support of SOUTHCOM, the US Marine Corps, and international customers. In April 2021, the US Navy selected the V-BAT as winner of its Mi2 technology demonstrator programme, which was aimed at exploring the use cases of unmanned systems in extreme operating environments.

In addition, Shield AI also recently announced its acquisition of Heron Systems, the winners of the DARPA AlphaDogfight trials bolstering applications of Hivemind for Group 5 and next generation fighter aircraft.