V-BAT vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) will be available in swarms with new capable AI early next year, said the President and Co-Founder of Shield AI Brandon Tseng in interview with defensehere.com.
“The V-BAT is a 130-pound vertical take off and land aircraft and extremely special aircraft in the group three UAS space; group three being an aircraft between 55 and 1320 pounds,” Tseng mentioned, adding that the aircraft is very special because of its ability to take-off with only its ducted fan without the help of any other thrust generators and he commented “It launchs like a SpaceX rocket.”
Tseng also explained that V-BAT is very tactical in the sense that it's a two person carry, and it only needs a laptop and radio to operate. “You can be using it mobile in trucks, you can be using it on foot. We see a lot of our customers use it on the ocean. Right. You can put it in 11 meter rib. You can put it in a Blackhawk helicopter. The logistics footprint is tiny, which means the total cost and capability is very small,” he further explained.
He ended the interview saying “I think the only other thing that I would add is we are integrating our AI pilot on there. And so at the beginning of next year, we'll be offering swarms of V-BATs that read and react on the edge, accomplishing different mission sets.”
Background on V-BAT
V-BAT beat out 13 competitors to win the Navy and SOCOM MTUAS Increment 2 Program of Record. Its unique design and controls allow it to take off & land in high winds, on crowded flight decks, aboard moving vessels with landing zones as small as 12’ x 12’.
Ducted Fan Design
One of many key differentiators between V-BAT and other VTOL aircraft is its patented ducted fan design. V-BAT’s duct increases thrust by 80%+ at equivalent engine power, enabling take-off and landing with a single power plant and achieving unmatched payload mass fraction. It can fly for a half day or stop and hover for hours on end.
Thrust vectoring bestows V-BAT with unmatched control authority for rock-solid stability in harsh weather conditions. The duct adds increased safety, eliminating operator safety zones, which expands the tactical employment envelope.
V-BAT supports a wide range of interchangeable and customizable payloads and sensors including, but not limited to: EO/MWIR cameras, AIS, and Land/Maritime Wide Area Search (WAS) AI-based capabilities.