Shield AI and Kratos Team up to Integrate AI Pilot on Valkyrie XQ-58

Integration of AI Pilot onboard XQ-58 Valkyrie will unlock concept of intelligent, affordable mass for US DoD and Allies – the Holy Grail of Deterrence

SAN DIEGO, June 15, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc. (Nasdaq: KTOS), a Technology Company in the Defense, National Security and Global Markets, and Shield AI, Inc., a defense technology company building the world’s best AI pilot, have signed an agreement to integrate and bring to market an AI pilot built by Shield AI for Kratos’ XQ-58 Valkyrie, making real the concept of crewed-uncrewed teaming for jet aircraft.

Ukraine is losing 10,000 drones per month due to Russian electronic warfare – primarily because the Russians are jamming communications and GPS. If an uncrewed aircraft is unable to operate without GPS and without communications, it will be near useless in future conflicts,” said Brandon Tseng, Shield AI’s Cofounder and President, who is also a former Navy SEAL. “AI Pilots enable teams of aircraft to intelligently execute missions without GPS and communications. When you take an incredible, affordable uncrewed jet aircraft like the XQ-58 and pair it up with our AI pilot, you create a game-changing strategic deterrent.”

“The Valkyrie is one of a very few number of uncrewed jet aircraft that are flying today, ramping in production, and are ready for AI pilot integration. Close integration and access with Kratos on the XQ-58 will enable the productization of intelligent uncrewed jet aircraft on a timeline that is, quite frankly, going to shock some people. Ultimately our AI pilots will be flying many uncrewed jet aircraft, but I can’t think of a better uncrewed jet to start with than the Valkyrie,” said Ryan Tseng, Shield AI’s Cofounder and CEO.

Shield AI has developed a combat-deployed AI pilot that has flown on a variety of platforms, including a quadcopter, their own manufactured Group 3 unmanned aircraft system called the V-BAT, and a modified F-16 fighter jet.

Kratos has active production lines producing approximately 150 jet drones annually, including Valkyrie, and a family of affordable, expendable, and attritable tactical jet drones flying today, including Tactical Firejet, Mako, Valkyrie and others, with actual known cost points of approximately $400,000 to $6.5 million and multiple contracts with the United States Air Force, Navy, Army, Marine Corps and others.

“By taking the most cost-efficient, proven, existing and in production uncrewed jets, with key performance capabilities, and pairing them with the most intelligent, capable, and proven AI pilots, Kratos and Shield AI are uniquely positioned to rapidly bring the first and best crewed-uncrewed teaming aircraft to market,” commented Eric Demarco, CEO of Kratos.

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 a fighter jet (F-16), a vertical takeoff and landing drone (V-BAT), and a quadcopter (Nova). 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 Follow Shield AI on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.

About Kratos Defense & Security Solutions Kratos Defense & Security Solutions, Inc.
(NASDAQ: KTOS) is a Technology Company that develops and fields transformative, affordable systems, products and solutions for United States National Security, our allies and global commercial enterprises. At Kratos, Affordability is a Technology, and Kratos is changing the way breakthrough technology is rapidly brought to market – at a low cost – with actual products, systems and technologies rather than slide decks or renderings. Through proven commercial and venture capital backed approaches, including proactive, internally funded research and streamlined development processes, Kratos is focused on being First to Market with our solutions, well in advance of competition. Kratos is the recognized Technology Disruptor in our core market areas, including Space and Satellite Communications, Cyber Security and Warfare, Unmanned Systems, Rocket and Hypersonic Systems, Next-Generation Jet Engines and Propulsion Systems, Microwave Electronics, C5ISR and Virtual and Augmented Reality Training Systems. For more information, visit

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