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ILA 2024: Artificial intelligence ‘backbone' for FCAS/SCAF declared operational

Rohde & Schwarz touted its AI-Backbone as part of a wider message of digital sovereignty in the air domain that it was promoting at the ILA Berlin Air Show. (Rohde & Schwarz)

The HIS consortium of Helsing, IBM Deutschland, and Schönhofer Sales and Engineering (SSE) has declared operational the artificial intelligence (AI) “backbone” it was charged with developing for the Future Combat Air System (FCAS)/Système de Combat Aérien du Futur (SCAF) programme.

Rohde & Schwarz, which owns SSE, announced the milestone of the first release of the AI-Backbone ahead of the ILA Berlin Air Show running from 5 to 9 June, saying it had been achieved ahead of schedule and just nine months after contract award in September 2023.

“The AI-Backbone is the first software platform that enables collaborative AI workflows across organisations in the military sector,” Rohde & Schwarz said, adding, “The platform ensures standardised procedures and open, interoperable architectures.”

As noted in the announcement, the use of AI will be critical to FCAS/SCAF air superiority. “AI accelerates the evaluation of sensor data, the planning of missions, and the use of effectors,” Frank Schrudde, managing director of SSE, was quoted as saying.

The next stage of development will be reached with the second release, which is expected in November. This will enable standardised, collaborative AI workflows in highly sensitive environments while adding additional capability components.

For more information on AI in the airborne battlespace, please see Rise of the robots: AI in the airborne battlespace .

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