Anduril Industries and the ADF are entering into commercial negotiations for a US$100m co-funded design, development and manufacturing program for Extra Large Autonomous Undersea Vehicles (XL-AUVs) for the Royal Australian Navy.
The company says the XL-AUV will be an "affordable, autonomous, long endurance, multi-mission capable AUV. It is modular, customizable and can be optimized with a variety of payloads for a wide range of military and non-military missions such as advanced intelligence, infrastructure inspection, surveillance, reconnaissance and targeting."
Anduril also says that its development of the XL-AUV will "deliver the vehicle at a fraction of the cost of existing undersea capabilities in radically lower timeframes." There are plans for three prototypes delivered to the Royal Australian Navy over the three-year life of the program.
Anduril intends to design, develop and manufacture the XL-AUVs in Australia and plans to hire 'dozens of employees' in roles including maritime engineering, software development, advanced manufacturing, robotics, propulsion design, mission operations and more. In addition, Anduril says it will 'actively partner' with other Australian SMEs and the research and technology communities to source 'nearly all elements' of the supply chain for the program.
“The XL-AUV project is a significant investment in Australian industrial capabilities,” said David Goodrich, OAM, Exec Chairman and CEO, Anduril Australia. “Through this partnership, Anduril Australia will become a major player in the thriving defence industrial base in Australia and contribute to Australia becoming a leading exporter of cutting-edge autonomous capability to the rest of the world.”
“There is a clear need for an XL-AUV built in Australia, for Australia,” said Palmer Luckey, Anduril Founder. “The XL-AUV will harness the latest developments in autonomy, edge computing, sensor fusion, propulsion and robotics to bring advanced capability to the Royal Australian Navy.”