Australian Navy Unveils First “Ghost Shark” Prototype Ahead Of Schedule And On Budget

autonomous undersea vehicle
Image Credits: Anduril Industries/Twitter

The Royal Australian Navy, in partnership with the Advanced Strategic Capabilities Accelerator (ASCA) and the Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG), has marked a significant milestone by revealing the first prototype of the “Ghost Shark.”

This event celebrates the successful early delivery of the first of three extra-large autonomous undersea vehicles (XL-AUVs) under a $140 million contract.

David Goodrich, Executive Chairman and CEO of Anduril Australia, stated that the Ghost Shark project is ahead of schedule and within budget.

Goodrich applauded ASCA, DSTG, and RAN partners’ joint efforts, highlighting the critical leadership and innovative concepts provided by key professionals such as Prof Tanya Monro, Prof Emily Hilder, and Vice Admiral Mark Hammond.

Ghost Shark, a modular and multi-purpose capability, is intended to respond flexibly to the mission objectives of the Australian Defence Force (ADF), acting as an agile force multiplier.

Dr Shane Arnott, Senior Vice President of Engineering at Anduril Industries, emphasised the rapid development enabled by a high-powered engineering team of 121 people from various sectors across Australia.

The Ghost Shark initiative involves 42 Australian companies and intends to develop, construct, and produce XL-AUVs in Australia.

Dr Arnott emphasised the objective of expanding industrial activities in Australia to meet the demands of the Royal Australian Navy, with intentions of exporting to allies.

Pat Conroy, Minister for Defence Industry, applauded Ghost Shark as a successful collaboration between Defence and Australian business, demonstrating the ability to develop sovereign capabilities to solve modern concerns rapidly.

The handover of Ghost Shark to ASCA demonstrates Defence’s commitment to developing the program.

ASCA focuses on expediting the transformation of innovation into operational capability.

Vice Admiral Mark Hammond, Chief of the Navy, stressed the project’s collaborative aspect, which combines Navy competence, ASCA agility, Defence scientific prowess, and Anduril Australia’s unique experience to produce tools for maritime patrolling and protection.

Prof Tanya Monro AC, Chief Defence Scientist, praised the early delivery of the Ghost Shark prototype, which set new standards for capability development in response to urgent needs.

DSTG’s contributions to the initiative include innovative technology and design knowledge, which enable quick learning and iteration.

Prof Emily Hilder, Head of ASCA, cited Ghost Shark as a practical example of ASCA’s approach to offering advanced asymmetric capabilities with a short development timeline.

According to ASCA’s Mission Zero framework, integrated team collaboration across DSTG, ASCA, Navy, and Anduril is essential to accomplishing its goals.

Reference: Anduril

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