skip to Main Content

RAN’s new AUV to be named ‘Ghost Shark’

Australian Defence Magazine’s online news service, Defence Week Premium reports that Defence has named the extra-large autonomous undersea vehicle program (XL-AUV) being developed by Anduril Australia as ‘Ghost Shark’. See the article here.

The naming ceremony, attended by the Head of Naval Capability, RADM Peter Quinn and the Chief Defence Scientist, Prof. Tanya Monro, included the arrival of a 2.8 tonne ‘Dive-LD’ autonomous submarine, also manufactured by Anduril. This submarine will be used by Anduril Australia engineers as a testbed vehicle for experimentation, testing and validation as it develops the much larger XL-AUV .

The 2.8m long Dive-LD arrived ahead of schedule in a major step forward in the $140m partnership between the RAN, Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG) and Anduril Australia to design, develop and manufacture three Ghost Shark XL-AUVs in Australia. The ambitious three-year Ghost Shark program will involve capability assessment and prototyping in record time.

The Dive-LD, which has a 3D printed exterior, can autonomously conduct missions for up to 10 days along the seafloor at up to 6,000 meters ocean depth. Like the Dive-LD, the Ghost Shark XL-AUV will be capable of a wide range of deployment options.

RADM Peter Quinn, who announced the name ‘Ghost Shark’, said it signifies that software-driven autonomous systems are a force multiplier for Defence.

“Ghost Shark will join Ghost Bat and other autonomous systems as our investment in smart AI-enabled technologies come to fruition. Our recently released RAS-AI Campaign Plan includes the rapid development of combat ready prototypes to accelerate operational deployment of game changing capabilities such as Ghost Shark,” said RADM Quinn.

Dr Shane Arnott, Senior Vice President Engineering, Anduril Industries said that three prototype XL-AUVs will be delivered to the Royal Australian Navy over three years, with a manufacture-ready vehicle at the end of 2025.

“Each prototype will be iterative using agile engineering approaches; we’re not just building three of the same vehicle,” said Dr Arnott.

“The subsea domain is extremely complex and the new frontier for exploitation of autonomous technologies. With the advances we’re bringing on this program, we’ll be able to take more of the dull, dirty and dangerous missions from the crewed submarines, freeing them up to do more complex missions,” said Dr Arnott.

Back To Top