U.S. Army units have assessed an advanced sensor-to-shooter system leveraging AI decision-aid software and 3D terrain data, built by Israel’s Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.
It is part of the Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment 21 (AEWE) in Fort Benning, GA.
Fire Weaver integrates as an open and modular software application with existing battle management systems and other tactical computing devices. Fire Weaver enhances ground combat capability with enhanced situational awareness and ability to maximise available combat power in GPS-denied environments. It networks sensors and formations together, providing a shared understanding on a fully digital common operational picture (COP) enhanced with augmented reality of battlefield intelligence. The result is intuitive situational awareness and common visual language “on the sights” of the battlefield for commanders and soldiers and enabling them to close sensor-to-shooter loops in seconds.
At AEWE, soldiers operated the sensors and shooters to acquire and engage multiple targets, achieving effects in seconds where traditionally it would take minutes or longer. The artificial intelligence decision-aid algorithms provide target and weapon pairings based off a predetermined set of rules controlled by the Commander at echelon, with constant human on the loop presence for lethal tactical decisions.
The soldiers received half a day’s training and operated the systems by themselves, commenting on its intuitiveness the difference it would make in combat. The soldiers also explained and demonstrated the system to senior leaders that were in attendance from across the force, Army Futures Command, DEVCOM, TRADOC, HQDA, and FORSCOM.
The demonstration was part of a larger demonstration of Rafael technologies, including BNET cognitive broadband IP Software Defined Radio and SPIKE SR Precision Strike Shoulder-fired missile.
Following AEWE 21 demonstration and assessment, Army senior leaders discussed Fire Weaver and other Rafael enabling technologies for inclusion in future Army Live Prototype Assessments under the Joint Modernization Command such as AEWE 22 next January, the Maneuver Fires Integration Experiment and Project Convergence 22. In early 2020, Rafael received a contract from the Israeli Ministry of Defense to supply Fire Weaver to Israeli Defense Force (IDF) ground divisions.
This demonstration was a joint effort between the US Army and Rafael with the Army providing an operational assessment team and a platoon of soldiers, including combat veterans and junior soldiers from the Army’s EXFOR unit.