Defence lobby group calls for design of new AUKUS rifle


Private sector operated Weapons Research Establishment has invited innovators to contribute to the design and manufacture of a new, cutting-edge AUKUS rifle through an open innovation challenge.

The AUKUS Rifle Challenge represents a unique opportunity for researchers, engineers, and manufacturers to contribute to the development of cutting-edge firearms that can enhance the effectiveness of armed forces in the digital age, according to WRE.

“The call for ideas and innovation in designing the AUKUS rifle is not just about creating a new weapon; it’s about reimagining what a modern firearm can be.”

WRE is not to be confused with the former defence science organisation by the same name, which was behind a number of advanced Australian weapons developments, as well as constructing the WRESAT satellites in the 1960s.

WRE said mall arms technology was ripe for innovation which could encompass:

  • Advanced Materials: Leveraging the latest materials technology to create lighter, more durable, and corrosion-resistant rifle components can lead to improved performance and longevity in the field
  • Fire Control Systems: Integrating state-of-the-art fire control systems, optics, and sensors can enhance accuracy and enable rapid target acquisition, especially in complex environments
  • Ammunition Innovation: Developing innovative ammunition types, including smart projectiles and alternative propellants, can provide ammunition with greater range, precision, and reliability
  • Digital Integration: Incorporating digital technologies, such as connectivity, smart sensors, and data-sharing capabilities, can transform the AUKUS rifle into a networked asset, enhancing situational awareness and communication on the battlefield
  • Ergonomics and User Interface: Prioritising user-friendly interfaces and ergonomic design can improve usability and reduce operator fatigue during extended deployments
  • And sustainability: Exploring environmentally friendly manufacturing processes and materials can align the AUKUS rifle project with broader sustainability goals.

WRE said the development of the AUKUS rifle could include collaboration across borders, industries, and research institutions.

“By pooling resources, expertise, and innovation from Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, this initiative aims to create a rifle that not only meets the demanding needs of modern defence forces but also sets new standards for reliability, accuracy, and adaptability.”

Picture: Weapons Research Establishment

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