Australia to build unmanned subs amid tensions with China — Analysis

Three prototype vessels will be built over the next three years, the country’s defense minister has said

Australia wants to grow “a new autonomous robotic undersea warfare capability,”Dutton announced on Thursday that a new program was being developed to create underwater drones for Navy. Dutton also warned Australia to be careful. “prepare for war.”

Co-financing the project is provided by the Defence Ministry, the Australian subsidiary of Anduril and an American-based company in the field of autonomous warfare.

“Defence and Anduril Australia will co-fund a program to design, develop and manufacture Extra Large Autonomous Undersea Vehicles (XLAUV) in Australia for capability assessment and prototyping,” Dutton said in a statement.

The XLAUVs, uncrewed robot vessels are at the forefront of robotic technology. These stealthy and multi-role robotic vessels are between 10 and 30 meters in length, with the ability to transport multiple military payloads long distances.

Submarine drones will be available in the future. “complement and enhance the agility and potency of the navy’s current submarine and surface combatant force”According to the official, this is in the Indo-Pacific area. They are expected to supply the force with additional vessels. “innovative mission options”As they would be a “disruptive and difficult undersea problem”For any enemy.

This research and development program, which is anticipated to last for three years, will result in three prototypes of drone submarines. “resulting in a manufacture ready XLAUV”Dutton stated that they would. Dutton stated that the cost of the program was not provided by the minister. However, local media reported that it would require a AU$2billion (US$1.4billion) investment. This modern anti-aircraft missile is designed to destroy supersonic maneuvering antiship missiles and other air targets.

Australia has already received the first shipment of missiles. “initial integration and testing purposes,”According to the minister. The Australian surface naval ships will use them.

Australia accused of double standards

These announcements are made amid rising tensions in the region between Canberra and Beijing, rekindled by the security and cooperation treaty signed by China and Solomon Islands late last month. It had provoked fury from the highest Australian officials. The PM Scott Morrison said last week that the potential for a Chinese military base to be established on the islands was possible. “red line”Canberra. But the Chinese Defense Ministry denies that they have plans to build an outpost there. It is situated just across from Australia’s Coral Sea.

On Thursday, during a debate with Shadow Defence Minister Brendan O’Connor at the National Press Club ahead of Australia’s 2022 federal election, Dutton openly warned that the country must get ready for war as he complained over China’s “phenomenal”Influence around the world

“If history has taught us anything, it is that when dictators are on the march, you can only preserve peace by preparing for war,”Dutton declared. “As we’re seeing right across the region, in fact right across the world, China’s influence into Africa, their influence into broader Asia, their influence into even Europe is quite phenomenal.”

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