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Germany is opting for a state-of-the-art artificial intelligence (AI) infrastructure for its future sixth-generation fighter aircraft, the FCAS, thanks to a consortium led by Helsing and Rohde & Schwarz. This technological breakthrough could strengthen Germany’s defense capability and set new standards for air combat technology.
The choice of a consortium with expertise in artificial intelligence
The German defense agency BAAINBw has opted for collaboration between Helsing, Schönhofer Sales and Engineering (SSE, a Rohde & Schwarz subsidiary) and IBM Deutschland to develop an AI backbone for the FCAS. The contract, signed on August 7, is effective immediately.
A national initiative alongside international collaboration
While the FCAS is a Franco-German-Spanish collaborative project, Germany has launched national initiatives in parallel. The HIS consortium contract is part of the research and technology project on new-generation weapons systems.
A cross-functional platform for rapid AI deployment
In order to rapidly deploy this essential AI capability, Germany has set up a transversal platform enabling all FCAS partners to work in a common environment.
The vital role of artificial intelligence in modern combat
The importance of AI in today’s conflicts is undeniable. Stephanie Lingemann, Program Director at Helsing, emphasizes that the integration of this technology is the first step towards a multi-functional air force. This infrastructure has become crucial for every defense platform.
A powerful, secure IT infrastructure
Setting up and running AI applications requires a robust IT infrastructure. Sandra Pfetzing-Huber, Associate Partner at IBM Consulting, talks about IBM’s Secure Cloud, designed to offer reliability, security, flexibility and scalability to these AI applications.
High-performance military applications
The HIS consortium’s AI infrastructure will enable the development of high-performance defense applications, encompassing complex industrial collaboration and their deployment within the German armed forces.
The long-term vision of the FCAS project
The model of the FCAS aircraft was unveiled at the 2019 Paris Air Show. With an initial investment of €4 billion between now and 2025, half of which will be borne by Berlin, the FCAS should be operational in 2040.
Consequences of this technological breakthrough:
By integrating AI into the FCAS, Germany is positioning itself at the cutting edge of air combat technology. This decision could not only strengthen its defense capabilities, but also set new standards for the global military aviation industry. Collaboration with other European countries could also strengthen solidarity and defense cooperation within the EU.
The adoption of an AI infrastructure for the FCAS demonstrates Germany’s determination to innovate in the defense field. By combining national expertise and international collaboration, the country is embarking on a promising path for the air combat technology of the future, with a focus on safety, performance and cooperation.
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