C2 Robotics’ Speartooth Large Uncrewed Underwater Vessel (LUUV) has passed and exceeded its latest round of demonstration and evaluation goals during the Royal Australian Navy’s Exercise Autonomous Warrior 23.
During the recent two weeks of in-water experimentation and demonstrations, which concluded on 3 November, the Generation 2 Speartooth proved its capability maturity status. Successes included demonstrating the logistics systems for transporting and launching Speartooth as well as proving the vessel’s ability to deliver multiple, meaningful effects autonomously and with high accuracy.
Speartooth is designed for long range, long duration undersea operations. It brings a combination of highly advanced capabilities together with a modular, rapidly reconfigurable design specifically focused on manufacturing scalability and a revolutionary cost point that enables high volume production and deployment. The recent successes were the culmination of a two-year collaborative effort between C2 Robotics and Navy.
C2 Robotics’ Chief Technology Officer Dr Tom Loveard said, “Both C2 Robotics and Navy have truly grasped the urgency of our strategic environment and have pushed the bounds of what can be done in such a short time frame. The speed of capability development that the C2 Robotics team is achieving is amazing. We’ve made huge strides towards mission readiness at this Autonomous Warrior event. I’m extremely proud of the dedication and creativity of our team in getting so far so quickly.”
The 2023 Defence Strategic Review identified ‘persistent, long-range undersea warfare capabilities (crewed and uncrewed)’ as critical Australian Defence Force capabilities.
C2 Robotics Director of Strategy, Dr Marcus Hellyer said “Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister Richard Marles has introduced the term Impactful Projection, and the Speartooth LUUV system is truly the embodiment of that concept. Speartooth is impactful in the range of systems that can be deployed in its large, multi-purpose payload bay as well as the unprecedented scale at which the system can be manufactured and deployed. Those payloads can then be projected very long distances with our highly stealthy delivery vehicle.”
Being easily and rapidly deployable in its containerised transportation and storage system is the first stage of projection to forward operating locations where it can be easily launched and recovered. Once in the water, Speartooth’s very long operational range frees it from the traditional constraints of small uncrewed systems. Speartooth’s advanced systems achieve the potential offered by autonomous systems through ‘single operator to many Speartooth’ operation.
Dr Hellyer said, “The Generation 2 Speartooth test results have exceeded expectations for range and autonomous performance. This means Speartooth can reach operationally relevant areas far from our shores without being tied to a mothership, opening up new operating concepts.”
Dr Loveard said, “Should the Australian government decide to acquire Speartooth, I have no doubt we’ll be able to put it into production and get it into service in a matter of months. It joins an outstanding ecosystem of complimentary autonomous systems that the Australian Defence Force (ADF) is progressing. The promise offered by long-range autonomous systems to deliver the impactful projection our nation needs is here today.”
C2 Robotics is now moving on to the next round of in-water activities experimenting and demonstrating capabilities supported by other sponsors within the ADF.