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Australia and Japan sign undersea warfare research agreement

Australia and Japan have signed an agreement to enhance strategic capabilities in robotic and autonomous systems for undersea warfare.

The research project between Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG) and Japan’s Acquisition, Technology and Logistics Agency (ATLA) is the first under a bilateral Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E) arrangement signed in June 2023. The agreement was signed at DSTG Edinburgh by Dr David Kershaw, Chief of DSTG’s Science Strategic Planning Division and Mr Matsumoto Kyosuke, ATLA’s Director General Strategy.

​“This is the first collaborative research project to be conducted under the bilateral RDT&E arrangement signed with Japan last year,” said Chief Defence Scientist Professor Tanya Monro AC. “It illustrates the increasingly strong Defence science and technology relationship shared by Australia and Japan. By partnering we deliver science and technology outcomes that we cannot achieve alone.

The inaugural research project will contribute to strategic capabilities in undersea communication and interoperability between Australia and Japan. ‘Deepening our diplomatic and defence partnerships with key partners in the Indo-Pacific’ is one of the priorities set out in last year’s Defence Strategic Review and undersea warfare is one of six advanced capabilities listed under Pillar 2 of the US-UK-Australia AUKUS agreement.

​​“This project will build a foundation for future joint research on robotic and collaborative autonomy, aiming to deliver advanced capabilities to support asymmetric advantage,” added Professor Monro.

Australia and Japan share an increasingly strong Defence science and technology relationship underpinned by the Special Strategic Partnership and the updated Joint Declaration on Security Cooperation, signed by Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and his Japanese counterpart, Prime Minister Kishida Fumio, in 2022.​

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