Defence AI autonomous system trial the first under AUKUS


AUKUS representatives from Australia, the United Kingdom and United States have observed the successful demonstration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Autonomy at the Upavon Airfield in the UK – the first major joint test under the AUKUS pact

The technologies, part of the Advanced Capabilities pillar (Pillar II) of the AUKUS pact, were jointly developed by the three countries, and deployed on coalition autonomous systems for an Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) mission.

The trial achieved several world firsts, including what a statement called ‘live retraining at the edge of models in flight’, and the interchange and use of AI models on uncrewed aerial vehicles from the three nations.

The statement had few details of the technologies in the joint test, however the three nations are already well advanced in working together in the development and testing of autonomous systems.

Australian shipbuilder Austal has built and delivered Expeditionary Fast Transport USNS Apalachicola (EPF 13) to the United States Navy – the largest surface ship in the fleet with autonomous capability.

Australia’s Hypersonix was selected by the United States’ Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) to provide aircraft for hypersonic tests – first major contract.

And US defence contractor Anduril is developing an extra-large autonomous undersea vehicle (XL-AUV) for the Royal Australian Navy.

AUKUS covers a wide range of defence and security interests, and involves technology sharing for the development of joint capabilities.

Defence’s Deputy Secretary Strategy, Policy and Industry Group, Hugh Jeffrey: “As outlined in the Defence Strategic Review, this trial exemplified the determination of AUKUS partners to rapidly translate disruptive technologies into capability.

“Successful collaboration between AUKUS partners brings us ever closer to understanding how we rapidly field robust and trustworthy AI in complex and contested environments.

“In this trial, we demonstrated that AUKUS can deliver a capability that is greater than what any one country can do alone.”

Further reading:
Austal delivers US Navy’s largest autonomous ship
Hypersonix awarded first major contract
Anduril autonomous sub docks in Sydney

Picture: Department of Defence

Share this Story

Stay Informed

Go to Top