Australia to build drone submarines in $2 billion deal
Posted On May 5, 2022
Defence Minister Peter Dutton will today announce a $2 billion investment to build unmanned submarines for the Royal Australian Navy amid rising tensions in the Indo-Pacific.
The Defence Department and military technology company Anduril Australia will co-fund a project to develop three Extra Large Autonomous Undersea Vehicles (XLAUVs) over the next three years.
Mr Dutton said the unmanned vessels would enhance the navy’s surface and submarine fleet and help maintain stability in the Indo-Pacific region.
“XLAUVs are cutting-edge uncrewed robotic vessels,” Mr Dutton said.
“They are a stealthy, multi-role, undersea capability, typically between 10 to 30 metres long, with the capacity to carry various military payloads over long distances.”
The Federal Government also previously announced a $2 billion investment to purchase Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles.
The first shipment of these weapons – which can also detect missiles at least 50km away – have already arrived in Australia for trials.
The missiles will be deployed to the navy’s Anzac Class frigates and Hobart Class destroyers.
The announcement comes amid concern over China’s security agreement with the Solomon Islands.
Under the deal, China could set up a military base on the small Pacific country, 1700km from the Queensland coast.
Mr Dutton will debate security policy with Labor defence spokesman Brendan O’Connor at the National Press Club in Canberra later today.
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