Red 6 Augmented Reality Platform Picked by Saudi’s Advanced Electronics
Augmented-reality (AR) platform developer Red 6 has signed a strategic partnership—the company’s first such international agreement—with Saudi Arabia-based Advanced Electronics. The company will use Red 6’s AR-based synthetic air combat training to “support and improve training to meet current and future threats,” according to Advanced CEO Ziad Al Musallam.
“We’ve been working on a number of different markets for some time,” said Red 6 CFO and board director Maissan Almaskati. Plans call for Advanced Electronics, which is owned by the Saudi government’s Saudi Arabian Military Industries, to use the Red 6 AR platform to enhance training for pilots who fly the country’s BAE Hawk Mk 165 jet trainers. The first integration of Red 6 AR tools with the Hawk trainers should take place by the end of this year or early next year, according to Almaskati.
The Red 6 AR platform enables a pilot to see virtual and constructive assets—essentially detailed and realistically flying animations of other aircraft such as a refueling tanker, friendly or enemy fighter aircraft, and ground-based targets—just by looking outside while flying a training aircraft and wearing special goggles. For safety reasons, the trainee must fly with another pilot who doesn’t wear goggles, but being able to practice flying against foes, in formation with virtual teammates, or practice simulated refueling missions gives trainees valuable experience at a fraction of the cost of using real flying assets. According to Red 6, “[This] allows for more efficient and effective training for the warfighter by enabling users to engage in both one-on-one and more complex campaign-level training.”
According to Almaskati, “The basic offering covers fundamentals for air force pilot training, such as air-to-air refueling, dogfighting scenarios, one-to-one or two-versus-one, missile evasion, and practicing flying in formation with an AR wingman. The other [capability] is to have AI-driven [artificial-intelligence-driven] bandits.” For example, Red 6 has developed a Chinese J-20 bandit, which “flies and behaves according to the physics of that aircraft and the doctrine of their air force,” he said. The customer can ask for relevant foes, which might include AR-hostile drones or combinations of a variety of enemy aircraft. “That’s easy to do,” he said.
The hard part is creating an outdoors-based AR entity, but that is what Red 6 has developed with its Advanced Tactical Augmented Reality System (Atars) and Combined Augmented Reality Battlespace Operational Network System (Carbon). Carbon is a networked training system that can link multiple aircraft and training units so pilots can train together on the Red 6 platform. “Most air force pilots fly in formation, and we have the ability to deliver that for pilots flying and fighting together,” Almaskati said.
“[The Red 6] augmented-reality system has demonstrated an advanced range of solutions that will be key to the future of our defense and aerospace business, said Al Musallam. “Moreover, this partnership will enable and accelerate Saudi Arabia’s efforts in support of the Vision 2030 goal to localize 50 percent of the Kingdom’s defense spending by 2030.”
Red 6 started in 2018 and now employs 70 people in offices in Santa Monica, California (research and development), Denver (hardware development), and Orlando, Florida (software engineering). The company raised $30 million in a Series A funding round last year and won its first large contract, worth $70 million, last year. “It’s been phenomenal and a tremendous pace, and we expect that to continue,” said Almaskati.
This content was originally published here.