The Australian government has entered into a partnership with the country’s Trusted Autonomous Systems Defence Cooperative Research Centre (TAS DCRC) and Thales Australia for the development of autonomous mine clearance technologies.
The new capability in operations close to shore is to be delivered over a new five-year, AU$15 million research and development project.
Researchers will design, develop, test and evaluate various teams of micro autonomous underwater vehicle swarms and autonomous surface vessels, to develop new systems for underwater mine detection and clearance.
“As announced in the 2020 Force Structure Plan, developing new systems for underwater mine detection and clearance are vital to protecting Australia’s maritime environment and advancing our interests,” defense minister Linda Reynolds said.
“Key technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, connectivity and cyber security will be vital in developing the capability to autonomously undertake environmental data collection and mine countermeasures missions.
Minister for defense industry Melissa Price said Australian businesses will play a vital role in the TAS DCRC project.
“Our local business partners will be part of the team designing and developing a communication, simulation and training solution for the new autonomous technologies,” minister Price said.
“We are delighted to be working with the TAS DCRC, Thales, and Australian businesses Mission Systems and INENI Realtime.
Other research partners in the project will include Flinders University, the University of Sydney, the University of Technology Sydney and Western Sydney University who will design, develop, test and evaluate various platforms.