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26 Apr 2024

Undersea robots set to patrol and protect

Undersea robots set to patrol and protect
Australian Department of Defence Image
Australian Government Department of Defence Press Release

Navy is on course to acquire the most advanced undersea autonomous vehicles in the world.

Ghost Shark will provide Navy with a stealthy, long-range autonomous undersea warfare capability that can conduct persistent intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and strike. 

It will also enhance Navy’s ability to operate with allies and partners.

Jointly developed and funded by a partnership between Defence and Anduril Australia, Ghost Shark will become “mission zero” for the Advanced Strategic Capabilities Accelerator (ASCA). 

Head of ASCA Professor Emily Hilder said ASCA missions address Defence’s most pressing needs, with a focus on rapidly delivery.

“The co-funded and collaborative contract between Anduril Australia and Defence is a fast and innovative way for Defence to pursue new technology that directly relates to capability needs,” she said. 

“ASCA wants to hear from Australian companies with solutions to Defence’s biggest challenges.” 

The Ghost Shark Program started in the middle of 2022, with the first prototype being delivered one year early, and the first production variant expected to be delivered by the end of 2025.

It forms part of the Government’s investment of up to $7.2 billion for the development and acquisition of subsea warfare capabilities and new autonomous and uncrewed maritime vehicles.

The Government is spending more than $10 billion on autonomous and uncrewed systems, including armed systems, as part of a comprehensive plan to provide the ADF with capabilities it needs to meet strategic circumstances. 

Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Mark Hammond said the Ghost Shark would be a crucial tool in protecting Australia.

“This collaboration combines Navy’s expertise, ASCA’s speed to delivery, Defence’s scientific smarts and Anduril Australia’s experience in agile innovation,” Vice Admiral Hammond said.

“We are a nation girt by sea, and the Ghost Shark is one of the tools we are developing for the Navy to patrol and protect our oceans and our connection to the world.”

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