Saab has announced its acquisition of British artificial intelligence (AI) systems manufacturer BlueBear to boost its autonomous systems capacities.
A “decisive step,” the merger would allow the Swedish firm to leverage BlueBear’s experience integrating AI into its current and future systems.
The Stockholm-based company views AI as an emerging technology that could reshape the entire defense industry and lead to the production of sophisticated solutions to modern-day threats.
“By acquisitions and strategic partnerships with companies that specialize in new technologies, Saab‘s capabilities are enhanced, thereby increasing the comprehensive solutions offered for a wider range of defense needs,” the company stated.
The acquisition would also enable Saab to grow its international markets, from the US, Germany, Australia, and now, to the UK.
The British tech firm manufactures an electric engine known as IPM5, capable of powering next-generation electric aircraft, including drones.
It has also adapted Boston Dynamics’ SPOT robotic dog to integrate a system allowing the unmanned vehicle to assist multi-domain operations by autonomously connecting the platform to a drone swarm.
BlueBear’s system would also allow the robot to follow a human operator without using its current hand-held control console.
Earlier this year, the company partnered with SeeByte to develop a secure-by-design architecture that can support tasking and integration of heterogeneous air and maritime assets for collaborative operations.
“For BlueBear, this [merger] is an important step in our journey as we now move forward as part of Saab,” company chief executive Dr. Yoge Patel said.
“We see many enhanced opportunities around naval, air, and land autonomy, payload integration, next generation command and control, AI-enabled defense clouds, as well as next generation platforms.”