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Thales Australia, TAS DCRC to develop autonomous MCM technologies

An RAN Mine Disposal Vessel is launched during an exercise. The $15 million Research project by Thales Australia and the TAS DCRC will take autonomous MCM technologies to a new level. Photo: Defence.

Defence, the Trusted Autonomous Systems Defence Cooperative Research Centre (TAS DCRC) and Thales Australia will develop new autonomous technologies to revolutionise inshore Mine Counter-Measures (MCM) through a new five-year, $15 million R&D project.

Researchers will design, develop, test and evaluate various teams of micro Autonomous Underwater Vehicle swarms and Autonomous Surface Vessels, to develop new systems for underwater mine detection and clearance.

Minister for Defence Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said the project will harness Australian research and innovation capabilities in autonomous systems technologies.

“Key technologies such as artificial intelligence, big data, connectivity and cyber security will be vital in developing the capability to autonomously undertake environmental data collection and mine countermeasures missions. This will help to create a safer operating environment for ADF personnel.”

Two SMEs, Mission Systems and INENI Realtime, will also be part of the project along with research partners Flinders University, the University of Sydney, UTS and Western Sydney University who will design, develop, test and evaluate various platforms.

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