Why Military Industries Are Relying Heavily on Digital Automation and Artificial Intelligence


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Artificial intelligence in the military sector, is more appropriately called "intelligent automation." All types of private and governmental organizations, especially militaries, are examining ways to use digital automation, under names including artificial intelligence, machine learning or bots. But, according to a report from KPMG, defense agencies have among the strongest motivations to adopt this group of technologies, known collectively as intelligent automation, given the ever-increasing volumes of data they need to analyze accurately, safely and quickly, in the interests of national security.

"Intelligent automation is absolutely essential for the military," says Ian McDonald, Director of Technology Enablement in Defense and National Security, KPMG in Australia. "They cannot operate the capabilities they currently have to their full potential without it." 

The report gave a sample but vital military function to further explain by example: "Take ballistic missile defense, a vital part of many countries' military activity. As many as a dozen satellite and sensor systems may be used in detecting hostile missile launches, with a further dozen systems involved in destroying such missiles. A defense agency could have just 8-10 minutes to decide whether a launch represents a threat, share findings with allies and decide what to do. The use of countermeasures has to happen quickly, given that missiles could impact 16 minutes after launch".

Active companies in the markets this week include Hawkeye Systems, Inc., The Boeing Company, Patriot One Technologies Inc., Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc., General Dynamics Corporation.

The KPMG article continued: "Integrating all the data from an area into a battle management system can improve safety, by accurately keeping track of allied forces and friendly non-military personnel such as aid workers. "Bringing all that data together is where intelligent automation comes in," McDonald says, given the large quantities that need to integrate quickly. This is particularly important for the most advanced drones, which can collect terabytes of data - including visual, radio and radar - in missions lasting more than 24 hours. Intelligent automation can allow this data to be analyzed in near real-time, highlighting what looks important within minutes rather than days later. "At the moment, there are humans in the loop between those systems," says McDonald. "You cannot respond within 16 minutes, unless you are already in a state of high alert." Intelligent automation can rapidly integrate all the data from satellites and sensors and present findings, allowing personnel to decide what action to take. "Agencies feel much more comfortable in having a human in the loop," adds Kirke Everson, Managing Director of the Intelligent Automation Group at KPMG in the US. "You still have a human saying I agree with this, or I don't agree with this."

Hawkeye Systems, a next-generation imaging technology company, announced this month that it has entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) with the Department of Defense (DOD).

The CRADA agreement marks a pivotal milestone for Hawkeye to work collaboratively with the DOD within their various departments to streamline process and further build upon their technology capabilities. Hawkeye will work exclusively to provide technologies and systems that meet DOD capability gaps.

Hawkeye Systems is tasked with developing innovative technologies, materials, components, material combinations, software, modeling, simulations and systems for various DOD applications. The goal is to provide an enhanced operational capability to DOD assets through the development of novel solutions and technologies. Through the interaction and cooperation authorized by this CRADA, the DOD and Hawkeye Systems will develop technologies tailored for Department of Defense needs.

"The CRADA is a true testament to the work and capabilities of our core technology and systems, and we're excited to be collaborating with the DOD," said Corby Marshall, founder and Chief Executive Officer of Hawkeye Systems. "At Hawkeye, we have the ability to create sustaining products that will not only help improve DOD operations, but also can make a difference for the different components of the DOD that benefit from our unique technologies."

Hawkeye Systems will also add U.S. Navy Consultant, Shawn Petre, as a principal consultant focusing on all issues related to the Department of Defense. Petre has served in the U.S. Navy and will bring over 22 years of experience as a Naval Aviator.

"Hawkeye's cutting-edge technology has received high praise from the U.S. military, which is extremely encouraging. The military needs their technology capabilities to assist military operations regarding ground and airborne surveillance and reconnaissance," said Shawn Petre. "Having worked with the best teams in the Department of Defense, I understand the current needs that exist for Hawkeye's technology and the gaps we can fill. I look forward to securing more contracts and opportunities for our company."

Other recent developments in the markets this week include:The Boeing Company recently named Stan Deal to succeed Kevin McAllister as president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes and Ted Colbert to succeed Deal as president and CEO of Boeing Global Services, effective immediately. Vishwa Uddanwadiker is appointed to Colbert's former role as interim chief information officer and senior vice president of Information Technology & Data Analytics.

"Our entire Boeing team is focused on operational excellence, aligned with our values of safety, quality and integrity, and we're committed to delivering on our commitments and regaining trust with our regulators, customers and other stakeholders," Boeing President and CEO Dennis Muilenburg said. "Stan brings extensive operational experience at Commercial Airplanes and trusted relationships with our airline customers and industry partners; and Ted brings to our Global Services business an enterprise approach to customers and strong digital business expertise—a key component of our long-term growth plans."

Patriot One Technologies Inc., developer of the PATSCAN Multi-Sensor Covert Threat Detection Platform, recently announce the sale of its PATSCAN Multi-Sensor Covert Threat Detection Platform with its security system to integrator/reseller partner Ginter Electrical Contractors, LLC ("Ginter Electrical") of Cincinnati, OH and Major League Baseball franchise, the Cincinnati Reds.

"We're extremely excited to be deploying our PATSCAN Platform with Ginter Electrical and the Cincinnati Reds, Major League Baseball's first professional team," said Martin Cronin, Patriot One CEO.  "Working with our reseller Ginter and the Reds' security team has been a fantastic experience.  Both organizations are focused on creating a safe venue without making it feel like a fortress so fans can enjoy the game of baseball."

Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. recently announced that it was awarded a multi-million dollar contract to develop a VPH to simulate real-world equipment and battle conditions for NVESD. Using Cross Reality (XR) technologies, NVESD's objective is to better understand how soldiers react to technology and evaluate its impact on their performance.

Holodecks are staging environments in which participants may engage with different virtual and real environments. Often used for training purposes, these technologies are also valuable for assessment and related applications similar to NVESDs.  The knowledge products that will result from this applied research will support NVESD's future research and capabilities development to enhance soldier lethality.

The award was issued by the U.S. Army Command, Control, Computers, Communications, Cyber, Intelligence Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C5ISR) Center, Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate (CERDEC NVESD) via the Sensors Communications and Electronics Consortium (SCEC) Other Transaction Agreement held by SOSSEC, Inc.

General Dynamics Corporation recently announced that the National Security Agency (NSA) has certified its new TACLANE-Nano (KG-175N) network encryptor to secure voice, video and data information classified Top Secret/SCI and below traversing public and private IP networks. This NSA certification validates the TACLANE-Nano's capability to protect the most critical data communications through government networks and national security systems worldwide at any time.

The TACLANE-Nano operates faster than 100 megabits per second aggregate throughout in a Size, Weight, Power and Cost (SWaP-C) optimized form factor, ruggedized to withstand the rigors of a mobile environment. Its small size and high speed allow it to be used for dismounted tactical forward deployment, unmanned or manned intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR), covert and special operations.

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