Australia is investing in an autonomous counter explosive vehicle

CANBERRA, (BM) – The Australian government has commissioned an autonomous project through an interface structure to counter explosive devices. The project participants are clear – Downer Defense Systems, Urban Circus, EPE, and Insitu Pacific.

Australia is investing in an autonomous counter explosive vehicle
Photo credit: Downer Defence systems

The four companies will develop a prototype based on Muskito – an integrated concept for combating improvised explosive devices. Muskito is a product of Downer Defense Systems. Muskito’s primary function is to detect explosive threats both on the surface and underground. Once it sees them, it sends a signal to the operator using a visual interface.

A press release from Downer Defense Systems shows that the company will play a leading role in developing the new prototype. According to Andrew Foster, such a project reinforces the Australian government’s desire to work in the local industrial community, creating additional jobs in the country. Andrew Foster is Downer Defense Systems’ Executive General Manager.

Defense Innovation Hub [the Hub]

The project to develop a prototype of an autonomous integrated system for counteracting explosive threats is a project of the Australian Ministry of Defense Defense Innovation Hub or the Hub.

It is a hub connected to the country’s defense industry, whose primary goal is to improve Australia’s defense capabilities by investing in military developments.

$ 800 million is the center’s budget for the current decade. These millions invest in research and prototyping. Until now, nearly $ 250 million are invested, according to preliminary information from the Australian Ministry of Defense.

The hub does not only consider proposals from military companies. On the contrary, all academic, business, and research organizations in the military and private sectors can participate in requests. Innovative proposals receive funding and a deadline to submit the prototype.

Who will play what role?

As mentioned above, Downer Defense Systems will play a leading role and will be the central system integrator of the project. This role means that the company can implement its capabilities for machine development and training and perform the actual integration.

Urban Circus is the company whose main task is to convert the sent data into visual information to the operator.

Insitu Pacific will have to deliver the unmanned aerial vehicle system. Together with the Muskito ground machine, this drone must operate in integrated mode and implement tactical data.

EPE is the last Australian company on this project. EPE will need to develop or provide deep penetration radars and other technical sensors, systems, and components.

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