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US Air Force puts Godzilla in charge of autonomous warfare effort with Project Kaiju • The Register

The United States Air Force (USAF) has unveiled the Kaiju project, a $ 150 million (108 million pounds) project to build “cognitive e-war” systems capable of operating completely autonomously – to be managed under Godzilla’s watchful eye.

Named for the entertainment genre, Japanese for “strange beast”, Project Kaiju is not – unfortunately – an attempt to breed giant monsters to protect US interests. Rather, it is the name given to a project that seeks to give USAF better opportunities for e-warfare – including the ability to move autonomously, without human interaction.

“US aircraft are increasingly required to operate in a hostile environment, heavily protected by integrated air defense systems (IADS),” the Kaiju project coordinators explained in a statement to the broad agency (BAA), revealing the project. The next evolution of advanced IADS is likely to use radars, ground-to-air (SAM) and air-to-air (AAM) threats that use multispectral technology.

“That is, American aircraft will be expected to oppose IADS, equipped with sensor-guided missiles that operate with different levels of coordination between EO / IR and RF modes for process detection, navigation and / or tracking, ie. multispectral threats. “

The solution, at least for those who want to hand out the project contracts, is to throw in a little problem with artificial intelligence and machine learning.

“In order for a system to function in a partnership or close conflict, a degree of knowledge, system integration, artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI / ML) is required to generate and / or maintain a competitive advantage due to the net volume of data, the speed of activity and the complexity of the threat opportunities “, continued BAA.

“The Cognitive Electronic Warfare (EW) ecosystem encompasses all AI / MLs used by systems and processes to allow for different levels of autonomy in the various EW missions, with the AFRL supporting military and operational community missions, including (rapid) ) reprogramming on site until closing closed-loop self-defense in battle. “

The project, which focuses on the protection of high-quality airborne asset (HVAA) flights, is divided into nine subprojects – all quite nicely named after the famous kaiju – under the supervision of program manager Godzilla. The first is Gamera, a study of “key community-developed tools” that could be used in a common, modular framework to generate the big data required by USAF.

King Ghidorah’s competence relates to software-defined radio (SDR), in particular the investigation of target hardware and the development of interfaces between SDR hardware and control-command systems, plus, in the classic way, monstrous films, a bit “destructive”. tests “to load.

Mecha Rodan is responsible for upgrading existing multi-spectrum modeling and simulation environments to add “enhanced capabilities” to both electronic support and electronic attack fields, while Kumonga will create a “RAPTURE Laboratory” for the design, manufacture and testing of any special purpose hardware that exits the project as a whole.

Mothra, meanwhile, will oversee an e-attack demonstration machine – including the development of a reconfigurable processing framework to assess e-attack capabilities. King Kong, the great ape, will be responsible for adapting real-time machine learning algorithms for real-time use based on a “description of government-equipped hardware architecture,” and Baragon will develop e-war systems capable of detecting, sorting, identify, distinguish and track complex emitters in complex environments.

Finally, Colossus will be responsible for developing the slightly more aggressive Advanced Threat Defeat system, including the development of “new and cognitive e-warfare capabilities to generate multilayer EAs.” [Electronic Attack] techniques leading to long-range killing networks’ – including data transmission in autonomous vehicles.

The goals of the Kaiju project go beyond those, but in the field of fully autonomous attack and defense systems. “As AI / ML progresses, it will be able to process and use larger amounts of data in real time,” BAA predicts, “opening up the potential for autonomous EW on an asset.”

“The adoption of open standards, flexible development of DevOps / algorithms and environments for process validation tools are essential for the rapid deployment and evaluation of AI / ML technology. This AI / ML framework will be crucial to enable AI / ML to migrate to field systems and ultimately to assets for closed loop operations. “

The Kaiju project, which is expected to open for proposals early next year, is managed with a budget of $ 150 million – of which $ 135 million is earmarked for the project as a whole, while a second contract, worth $ 15 million, is being proposed. for those taking on the role of Godzilla for project management plus one or more of the Mothra, King Kong, Baragon or Colossus subprojects.

However, anyone who wants to track the progress of the project may be disappointed. USAF has confirmed that the effort, which takes 60 months for technical work and three months for final reporting, will be classified at top secret / SCI level.

More information is available at SAM.GOV. At the time of publication, USAF had not responded to a request for further details. ®

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