The U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) awarded BAE Systems a $17 million contract to introduce artificial intelligence (AI) into an interactive game environment to revolutionize air operations planning for contested environments. As part of the Fight Tonight program, the company will provide air operations planners with the tools they need to dramatically accelerate the process of planning complex air attack operations. Under the terms of the Technical Area 2, Plan Gaming and Outcome Analysis contract, BAE Systems’ FAST Labs™ research and development organization, along with subcontractors Uncharted Software and Kestrel Institute, will develop a solution to rapidly generate and review multiple plans and select the most robust.
“This technology is about using AI to provide commanders with more options faster and with more details to ensure the most robust plan is selected,” said Mike Miller, technical director for BAE Systems’ FAST Labs. “The drag-and-drop video game-like interactions would reduce the time it takes to make a series of incremental adjustments to a plan from hours to minutes.”
Long manual planning cycles often result in the consideration of fewer potential plan options. To address this challenge, the proposed offering will provide an interactive user interface that enables planners to rapidly explore and access plausible futures and select the best plans in a dynamic environment. These processes will be enhanced by tools that can generate and assess the feasibility of more plans than is currently possible without the aid of technology. The software enhances BAE Systems’ extensive autonomy portfolio and 20-year history pioneering autonomy technology.
BAE Systems plc (BAE) is a British multinational arms, security, and aerospace company based in London, England. It is the largest defence contractor in Europe, and ranked the seventh-largest in the world based on applicable 2021 revenues. As of 2017, it is the biggest manufacturer in Britain. Its largest operations are in the United Kingdom and United States, where its BAE Systems Inc. subsidiary is one of the six largest suppliers to the US Department of Defense. Other major markets include Australia, Canada, Japan, India, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar, Oman and Sweden, where Saudi Arabia is regularly among its top three sources of revenue. The company was formed on 30 November 1999 by the £7.7 billion purchase of and merger with Marconi Electronic Systems (MES), the defence electronics and naval shipbuilding subsidiary of the General Electric Company plc (GEC), by British Aerospace, an aircraft, munitions and naval systems manufacturer.