While the AUKUS plan for Australia to acquire nuclear-powered submarines with assistance from the United States and the United Kingdom appears to be on track, the Royal Australian Navy might receive Extra Large Autonomous Undersea Vehicles (XL-AUVs) in less than three years.
Anduril Industries, based in Irving, California, has announced that it has begun commercial negotiations with the Australian Defence Force for the XL-AUVs.
“The XL-AUV will be an affordable, autonomous, long endurance, multi-mission capable AUV,” says Anduril. “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 says its approach to development of the XL-AUV “will deliver the vehicle at a fraction of the cost of existing undersea capabilities in radically lower timeframes.”
“The three-year XL-AUV development program has an incredibly ambitious delivery schedule which will involve capability assessment and prototyping in record time using Anduril’s agile capability development systems,” says the company. “There will be three prototypes delivered to the Royal Australian Navy over the three-year life of the program.”
The XL-AUVs will be designed, developed, and manufactured in Australia by Anduril. It wants to hire dozens of high-skilled workers to help with the program’s design, development, and manufacture.
“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.”