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Kratos and Shield AI Conduct AI-Piloted Flights on the Kratos Tactical Firejet

April 1, 2024 8:00 AM EDT

Kratos and Shield AI use Firejet as first application of Shield AI’s Hivemind on the Kratos Family of UAS

SAN DIEGO, April 01, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. (Nasdaq: KTOS), a Technology Company in the Defense, National Security and Global Markets and an industry-leading provider of high-performance, jet-powered unmanned aerial systems (UAS) and Shield AI, Inc., a defense technology company building the world’s best AI pilot, today announced the successful completion of the first phase of Shield’s AI-piloted flight-testing on-board the Kratos family of UAS as the two companies move toward productizing Shield AI’s pilot on these systems.

Hivemind Enabled Firejet Just Prior to Launch

Hivemind Enabled Firejet Just Prior to Launch

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at
https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/891609ac-a92f-4b1c-a6e4-e74c13ac6ed5

Having successfully flown AI pilots on five aircraft — three classes of quadcopters, the MQ-35A V-BAT, and the F-16 in fully autonomous air combat training — Shield AI’s Hivemind AI pilot has now successfully flown on and controlled the Kratos Tactical Firejet. These successful flights are a major milestone in the comprehensive integration project as Shield AI and Kratos look to ultimately productize another configuration of the Valkyrie, in this case with Shield AI’s Hivemind AI pilot.

“Our substantial investments in autonomy and AI design tools, infrastructure, and pipelines are what enable Shield AI to rapidly integrate Hivemind onto different classes of aircraft and most importantly, fly them safely. We’re getting faster and faster. It was over three years from signing the contract to flying the F-16; now, it’s less than 180 days for the Kratos Firejet. The vision of portable autonomy software for military hardware has been realized, flown, and deployed by Shield AI,” said Ryan Tseng, Shield AI’s CEO and Co-Founder.

Hivemind-Directed Autonomous Maneuvering Underway

Hivemind-Directed Autonomous Maneuvering Underway

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at
https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/2f2f2042-c0a5-4d03-a150-050c454a3e2b

“The ability of our teams (Kratos and Shield AI) to collaborate and work together as two commercial entities driving toward technical mission capability solutions and systems to ultimately support the DoD provides a rapid path to system realization. Firejet is the first; there’s more to come and we’re excited about the technology, what it enables, the speed at which we can create and deliver these systems, and the broad application space and impact that these high capability, affordable UAS provide to the warfighter," said Steve Fendley, President of Kratos’ Unmanned Systems Division.

The Firejet, in its jet target system role, fills a variety of end-to-end weapons-release training, supporting surface-to-air and air-to-air engagements. Additionally, the Tactical Firejet offers an offensive/defensive jet UAS system in the sub $500K price range per aircraft with substantial mission systems and performance capabilities. In either mission configuration (target/tactical), the Firejet delivers a high-speed, high-maneuverability, low-signature solution for replicating threats or enabling no-risk-to-Warfighter-life operational effectiveness with a level of contested environment capability.

Youtube Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkmYV3ZUH1Q&t=1s

About Shield AI
Founded in 2015, Shield AI is a venture-backed defense technology company whose mission is to protect service members and civilians with intelligent systems. In pursuit of this mission, Shield AI is building the world’s best AI pilot. Its AI pilot, Hivemind, has flown jets (F-16; MQM-178 Firejet), a vertical takeoff and landing drone (MQ-35 V-BAT), and three quadcopters (Nova, Nova 2, iPRD). The company has offices in San Diego, Dallas, Washington DC and abroad. Shield AI’s products and people are currently in the field actively supporting operations with the U.S. Department of Defense and U.S. allies. For more information, visit www.shield.ai. Follow Shield AI on LinkedIn, X and Instagram.

About Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc.
Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. (NASDAQ: KTOS) is a technology, products, system and software company addressing the defense, national security, and commercial markets. Kratos makes true internally funded research, development, capital and other investments, to rapidly develop, produce and field solutions that address our customers’ mission critical needs and requirements. At Kratos, affordability is a technology, and we seek to utilize proven, leading-edge approaches and technology, not unproven bleeding edge approaches or technology, with Kratos’ approach designed to reduce cost, schedule and risk, enabling us to be first to market with cost effective solutions. We believe that Kratos is known as an innovative disruptive change agent in the industry, a company that is an expert in designing products and systems up front for successful rapid, large quantity, low-cost future manufacturing which is a value-add competitive differentiator for our large traditional prime system integrator partners and also to our government and commercial customers. Kratos intends to pursue program and contract opportunities as the prime or lead contractor when we believe that our probability of win (PWin) is high, and any investment required by Kratos is within our capital resource comfort level. We intend to partner and team with a large, traditional system integrator when our assessment of PWin is greater or required investment is beyond Kratos’ comfort level. Kratos’ primary business areas include virtualized ground systems for satellites and space vehicles including software for command & control (C2) and telemetry, tracking and control (TT&C), jet powered unmanned aerial drone systems, hypersonic vehicles and rocket systems, propulsion systems for drones, missiles, loitering munitions, supersonic systems, space craft and launch systems, C5ISR and microwave electronic products for missile, radar, missile defense, space, satellite, counter UAS, directed energy, communication and other systems, and virtual & augmented reality training systems for the warfighter. For more information, visit www.KratosDefense.com.

Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements in this press release may constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements are made on the basis of the current beliefs, expectations and assumptions of the management of Kratos and are subject to significant risks and uncertainty. Investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on any such forward-looking statements. All such forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made, and Kratos undertakes no obligation to update or revise these statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Although Kratos believes that the expectations reflected in these forward-looking statements are reasonable, these statements involve many risks and uncertainties that may cause actual results to differ materially from what may be expressed or implied in these forward-looking statements. For a further discussion of risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ from those expressed in these forward-looking statements, as well as risks relating to the business of Kratos in general, see the risk disclosures in the Annual Report on Form 10-K of Kratos for the year ended December 31, 2023, and in subsequent reports on Forms 10-Q and 8-K and other filings made with the SEC by Kratos.

Press Contact:
Yolanda White
858-812-7302 Direct

Investor Information:
877-934-4687
[email protected]




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