ECA Nov Sensor solutions provider HENSOLDT and AI company 21strategies, two of Europe’s leading innovators in their industries, have agreed on a strategic collaboration. The aim is to jointly drive the development of next-generation artificial intelligence (AI) for defence systems. To this end, HENSOLDT is participating in 21strategies’ financing round, which will give the cooperation a strong foundation.

Artificial intelligence is crucial to the performance of many HENSOLDT products. The agreed partnership will take HENSOLDT’s AI competencies to a new level. Because with new AI approaches of the so-called Third Wave, such as cognitive AI, decisions in combat situations and the reaction to unknown threats can be decisively accelerated. In addition, interesting synergies result from the combination with HENSOLDT’s existing Open Source Intelligence (OSINT) competencies, which will further increase the performance of AI in the future.

“As a technology company in the defence industry, we have special requirements for AI,” says Celia Pelaz, Board Member and Chief Strategy Officer at HENSOLDT. “In order to optimally enable highly complex defence systems, we need to master artificial intelligence in its entire range. To this end, we develop many AI competencies in-house and supplement them in a very targeted manner by working with specialised partners such as 21strategies. As a strategic investor, we are able to provide the company with significant support in the defence sector and benefit from the targeted and rapid further development of the technology. Because we at HENSOLDT are convinced: The defence systems of tomorrow will be created at the interface of artificial intelligence with the deep knowledge of the application scenarios of our customers. The minority shareholding in 21strategies is the first of its kind at HENSOLDT. This is right in line with our policy of working with young and dynamic high-tech companies with strong cooperation potential.”

21strategies trains next-generation AI for optimal decision-making at machine speed, enabling users to make and implement tactical decisions quickly and efficiently in complex and uncertain situations. The two companies are already working closely together on the GhostPlay project for the German Armed Forces Digitisation and Technology Research Centre (DTEC.Bw). GhostPlay creates a high-performance, synthetic simulation environment (= Ghost) in order to develop decision-making procedures taking into account different parameters (= Play) by means of AI and in interaction with opponents who have different performance profiles.

As a sensor solutions provider and expert in defence systems for all branches of the armed forces, HENSOLDT is in a special market position, generating large amounts of data that play a crucial role in customers’ situational awareness and defence capabilities. The technological approach of 21strategies complements HENSOLDT’s AI competencies and strengthens its performance profile in the areas of sensor management and cognitive electronic warfare. This includes, among other things, the development of multistatic and distributed sensor technology.

“Already working for military research labs in the past, the 21strategies team had proliferated third-wave AI for currency and commodity hedging – these days, as you can see, more than ever a national security and preparedness issue. Through the successful cooperation with one of the most innovative representatives of the defence industry, we are once again making our AI tech stack available for defence as well. In doing so, it is of great concern to us to offer AI systems that meet our clients’ requirements for the legal and ethical compliance of AI. HENSOLDT will therefore also benefit greatly from our expertise with value-based engineering,” says Yvonne Hofstetter, CEO and Co-Founder of 21strategies.

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