In Episode 93 of the Aerospace Advantage podcast, The Future of Autonomy and Combat Airpower: Understanding the Imperative, host John Baum chats with Mike Benitez of Shield AI, Andrew Van Timmeren of Blue Force Technologies, plus Heather Penney and Caitlin Lee from the Mitchell Institute team about one of the most exciting developments in combat airpower: autonomy. It’s been the subject of science fiction for decades—the ability for aircraft to operate with a level of independent decision making that allows them to execute missions on their own. These are technologies that effectively bring Star Wars’ R2D2 to life. We are going to break this down across three episodes. First, we’re going look at the imperative: why do we need to pursue increased autonomy? In the second episode, we’re going to look at better defining the technology and its applications. We’ll bring it all together in the third episode by considering autonomy’s application in an operational context. Throughout all of these conversations, it is important to recognize that autonomy in the lab is one thing but making it useful and resilient in the battlespace is another. Technology doesn’t exist for its own sake—it’s fundamentally about achieving mission results more effectively.
Host: Lt Col (Ret.) John “Slick” Baum, The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies
Producer: Shane Thin
Producer: Daniel C. Rice
Executive Producer: Douglas Birkey
Guest: Heather Penney, The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies
Guest: Caitlin Lee, The Mitchell Institute for Aerospace Studies
Guest: Mike “Pako” Benitez, Shield A.I.
Guest: Andrew “Scar” Van Timmeren, Blue Force Technologies
Image Credit: Shield AI