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Boeing and Insitu advance autonomous mission capabilities

Insitu Pacific UAVs demonstrated how machine learning and AI capabilities could be used in the ISR role. Images: Boeing/Michael Chambers.

Boeing and its Australian subsidiary Insitu Pacific has demonstrated operational applications of its autonomous search, detection and classification capabilities at EX Talisman Sabre.

The pioneering technology delivers near real-time intelligence to the warfighter. It combines Boeing’s machine learning, AI and uncrewed aircraft systems capabilities to rapidly find and classify targets, while simultaneously reducing risk and cognitive load on soldiers.

“This was the first time we were able to integrate our AI-enabled technology into an Australian Defence Force exercise, which provided an operationally-relevant terrain environment to test and demonstrate machine learning capabilities,” said Emily Hughes, director, Boeing Phantom Works Global.

“The demonstration advances our partnership with the [Australian Army’s] Robotic and Autonomous Systems Implementation & Coordination Office (RICO), and along with the recent AUKUS trial in the United Kingdom provides a clear pathway from innovation to operationalisation for the Australian Army,” she said.

During the test, two Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles were simultaneously deployed and paired with automated object detection and optimised route planning software, while effectively communicating with the ground station.

“The field demonstration by Phantom Works Global and Insitu Pacific helps us understand and evaluate the application of technology-driven solutions such as AI and machine learning and how they can be used within complex and contested environments,” said Colonel Robin Smith, director RICO, Australian Army.

Early and effective threat detection technologies have the potential to revolutionise Defence’s land combat activities said Andrew Duggan, managing director Insitu Pacific.

“The tests validated our ready-now sensor capabilities and software solutions, and the technology increases the effectiveness of uncrewed aircraft systems in modern battlespaces.”

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