APDR Leaderboard (728x90)The Australian government will deliver a sovereign, autonomous undersea capability, through the Ghost Shark Program. Ghost Shark is being jointly developed and funded by a partnership between Defence and Anduril Australia, and will become Mission Zero (0) for the Advanced Strategic Capabilities Accelerator (ASCA). Only Defence’s highest priorities are used to select ASCA missions and there must be an identified pathway for the innovation to transition to capability.

Ten Australian companies have partnered with Anduril Australia to be ready for the manufacture of Ghost Shark, and there are 42 Australian companies who stand to benefit in the supply chain. Ghost Shark will provide Navy with a stealthy, long-range autonomous undersea warfare capability that can conduct persistent intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and strike. It will also enhance Navy’s ability to operate with allies and partners.

The Ghost Shark will form part of the government’s investment of up to $7.2 billion for the development and acquisition of subsea warfare capabilities and new autonomous and uncrewed maritime vehicles. The government is spending more than $10 billion on autonomous and uncrewed systems, including armed systems, as part of a comprehensive plan to provide the ADF with capabilities it needs to meet strategic circumstances.

The Navy will also explore the potential for synergies between Navy’s XL-AUV program and future trilateral collaboration through AUKUS Advanced Capabilities.

Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy said: “Ghost Shark is an exemplar of how Defence and Australian industry can move at speed to develop new sovereign capabilities to respond to the challenges before us. By transitioning Ghost Shark to ASCA, a clear statement is being made about Defence’s commitment to the program. ASCA is focussed on speeding up the transition of innovation into capability that will give our Australian Defence Force an edge, while creating more jobs for Australians commercialising the technology.”

Head of ASCA Professor Emily Hilder said:  “ASCA missions address strategically directed priorities that focus on rapidly delivering asymmetric capabilities to Defence. The co-funded and collaborative contract between Anduril Australia and Defence is a fast and innovative way for Defence to pursue new technology that directly relates to capability needs. ASCA wants to hear from Australian companies with solutions to Defence’s biggest challenges.”

Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Mark Hammond said: “This collaboration combines Navy’s expertise, ASCA’s speed to delivery, Defence’s scientific smarts and Anduril Australia’s experience in agile innovation. We are a nation girt by sea, and the Ghost Shark is one of the tools we are developing for the Navy to patrol and protect our oceans and our connection to the world.”

David Goodrich OAM, Executive Chairman and CEO Anduril Australia said: “The timeline we set to design and produce three Ghost Sharks in three years in Australia, by Australians for the ADF, was extremely ambitious. I am excited to report that we are ahead of schedule and, importantly for a Defence program, we are on budget. We’re moving incredibly quickly on this program in lockstep with our ASCA, DSTG and the RAN partners. The strategic leadership and innovation insights provided by Prof Tanya Monro, Prof Emily Hilder and Vice Admiral Mark Hammond are key to our success,” said Goodrich.

Dr Shane Arnott, Senior Vice President Engineering, Anduril Industries said: “Moving at the speed of relevance is Anduril’s signature. For Ghost Shark, we have assembled a unique high-powered engineering team of 121 people from the best-of-Australia, across tech, resources and defence, to fuel this progress. We have 42 Australian companies currently working on Ghost Shark, which is being designed, engineered and manufactured in Australia. We plan to manufacture at scale in Australia for the Royal Australian Navy, and then for export to our allies and partners around the world. Using novel scaled agile development techniques, we are combining both tech and defence sector development practices – and it’s paying big dividends. Ghost Shark is a program that we as Australians can be very proud of,” said Dr Arnott.


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  1. For something to be built on time and on budget in Australia only 2 scenarios could have played out ;
    A: all the important components are imported and we bolted it together , or
    B: the trade unions have not yet got involved

  2. At last some good news ( actual news ,not the we promise variety) It’s encouraging that at least some projects are progressing smoothly ( let’s hope the DoD don’t get directly involved) And the public is actually permitted to know about it. The ASCA must really be working, I assume tech was adapted from the U.S.N.s Orca project ? Let’s hope the Ghost Bat project delivers some more encouraging news soon. I was under the impression that two another AUVs were in development as well (Speartooth and Seawolf) but haven’t been able to find anything about their progress. Both are somewhat Larger than Anduril’s , one in particular is interesting because it’s an Australian Company going alone ( the other is with a Canadian Company) Any info on either of these ?

    • There’s no connection with Orca – at least not that I’m aware of – because that’s a diesel-electric vessel like a conventional submarine while the two Australian ones use some form of electrical storage. Boeing – the developer of Orca – say that the energy density of diesel fuel means that they can go much further, but they do periodically have to come near the surface to run the engine and recharge the battery pack.

    • Hi just to let you know its Aussie company C2 Robotics that’s doing the Speartooth XLUUV project. The latest from them is an article by Naval news, 8th Nov 23, about their success in ADF’s Autonomous Warrior 23 demo’s. Says they met or exceeded all perimeters set for them (interesting pics). The Seawolf xluuv on the other hand seem’s to have sunk without trace since its announcement in 2022. But gives possible hints at what’s being aimed at as it claimed a 5000km range and 2×2500 litre payload bays. Canadian, Cellula robotics, apparently teamed with Trusted Autonomous Systems, but they don’t even mention Cellula on their website, so maybe it did sink. Was being designed off Cellula’s Solus-tr design which as of last year is still being tested and developed. Maybe they missed a deadline or something and got dropped.

  3. My question is an anyone tell me, is this Drone Subs project superseding the Collins refurbishment . I haven’t seen anything for a long time regarding the Collins relevance.

    • Hi Lee

      Yes the Collins “refurbishment” better known as the Life of Type Extension (LOTE) is still supposed to occur – apparently with a budget and all. See https://www.asa.gov.au/aukus/collins-class-submarines “Details”

      “…Australia’s Collins Class submarine fleet will undergo a life-of-type extension (LOTE) at Osborne shipyard in South Australia.

      The LOTE will keep the Collins Class submarine operationally capable and available into the 2040s, supporting the transition to Australia’s nuclear-powered submarines.

      Budget: $4.3 – $6.4 billion
      Timeframe: First LOTE scheduled for mid-2026
      Industry: more than 1500 jobs
      Location: Osborne South Australia (LOTE) and Henderson Western Australia (sustainment)”

  4. We will have the most advanced tech zoom. There’s already the loyal wingman program. Hopefully we become a superpower through our tech to make up for our small numbers and punch above our weight when we get bullied by countries like China and Russia. I knew we always had the ability Australia makes the best stuff like Germany did pre WW2.


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