skip to Main Content

Australia and Singapore explore maritime AI on EX Indo-Pacific Endeavour

During EX Indo-Pacific Endeavour the Royal Australian Navy, Defence Science Technology Group and Republic of Singapore Navy met to discuss the development and evolution of autonomous maritime systems.

The discussions in Singapore centred around a shared interest in Robotics, Autonomous Systems and Artificial Intelligence (RAS-AI), and how both partner nations can collaborate on this technology. EX Indo-Pacific Endeavour, which began in early July, is the RAN’s major regional engagement activity and will see ADF units, mainly sips, visit 14 countries over four months.

The RAN’s Maritime Deployable Robotic Autonomous Systems and Experimentation Unit (MDREU) Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Charlie Kenney, said Singapore’s sophisticated unmanned surface vehicle technology makes them an important naval partner for Australia.

“Within the next decade, robotic technologies will transform the maritime industry and we’ll see an increase in uncrewed vessels and RAS-AI technology on and under the water,” Lieutenant Commander Kenney said. “Singapore is one of the leading nations developing in this space, so it makes sense that we collaborate.”

Like Australia, Singapore is a hub of maritime traffic and relies heavily on maritime trade for much of its import and export.

Lieutenant Commander Kenney said these similarities mean both countries are focused on improving their uncrewed underwater vehicle capabilities and uncrewed surface vessels.

“This partnership is about sharing challenges and opportunities between both navies so we can create efficiencies that will lead to workforce capability benefits, cost benefits and technology improvements.”

Defence Science Technology Group discipline lead in RAS/vehicle systems integration, Neil Tavener, elaborated on the broader scope of the collaboration.

“This technology will extend our current capabilities by using autonomous systems to supplement manned platforms and allow us to operate in areas where people can’t go,” Mr Tavener said.

While this journey continues to mature through its implementation, these type of systems will improve safety, increase operational effectiveness and expand capabilities for the Navy.

As Singapore rapidly evolves its unmanned platforms to meet current objectives, Australia’s timeline of naval technology implementation means it can learn from Singapore’s expertise and innovations.

“We bring certain experiences to the table and Singapore offers unique insights in areas that we can learn from which will improve our own development,” Mr Tavener said.

“Combined with our shared values and objectives this is a good partnership for both nations.”

Back To Top