BAE Systems to Install Key Autonomous Capabilities
Working with the Australian Army, BAE Systems Australia is to install autonomous technologies, hardware and software in a further 16 M113 AS4 armoured vehicles, the company announced on 8 August. This follows the conversion and trial of two ‘optionally crewed’ M113s last year, another two earlier this year and will take the Army’s fleet of such vehicles to 20.
The completed vehicles have been used to showcase BAE Systems’ autonomous technologies, which could have a potentially revolutionary impact on Australian Defence Force (ADF) operations. Autonomous technologies will assist soldiers to respond in an accelerating warfare environment and will increase their speed of initiative to outpace, out-manoeuvre and out-think conventional and unconventional threats.
As part of the knowledge transfer, the next three vehicles will be converted at BAE Systems’ Edinburgh Parks facility in South Australia, while the remaining M113s will be converted at the Army Joint Logistics facility at Bandiana, Victoria. The fleet of vehicles will be used by the Army to conduct experiments to better understand the opportunities to employ autonomy on the battlefield and implement its recently released Robotics and Autonomous Systems Strategy.
“This project highlights our continued commitment to leading the development of new technologies […] We are also collaborating on other landmark projects to advance autonomous capabilities such as Australia’s LOYAL WINGMAN programme, led by Boeing Australia for the Royal Australian Air Force […] The Defence Force of the future will rely on trusted autonomous systems to plan and coordinate operations, allow quick decision-making and respond to unexpected or unplanned actions and work to keep our service men and women out of harm’s way,” commented BAE Systems Australia’s Chief Technology Officer, Brad Yelland.