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As Anduril spearheads the delivery of an operationally relevant capability in a fraction of traditional defense timelines, the early development and testing of the inaugural Ghost Shark prove pivotal for swift learning and refinement.

This milestone marks a significant stride in the $140 million collaborative effort between the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), Defence Science and Technology Group (DSTG), and Anduril to conceptualize and construct three ‘Ghost Shark’ extra-large autonomous undersea vehicles (XL-AUV) within a three-year timeframe on Australian soil.

The Ghost Shark represents a versatile, adaptable capability capable of promptly addressing the Australian Defence Force’s mission requirements, thereby serving as a dynamic force multiplier for Defense operations.

David Goodrich OAM, Executive Chairman and CEO of Anduril Australia, stated, “The ambitious timeline we established to develop and produce three Ghost Sharks within three years in Australia, by Australians for the ADF, has proven remarkably achievable. We are proud to announce that we are ahead of schedule and, critically for a Defense initiative, remain within budget.”

Dr. Shane Arnott, Senior Vice President of Engineering at Anduril Industries, remarked, “Operating at the speed of relevance epitomizes Anduril’s ethos. In the development of Ghost Shark, we’ve assembled a specialized, high-caliber engineering team comprised of 121 individuals drawn from Australia’s foremost talent across technology, resources, and defense sectors, fueling our progress.”

“We currently engage 42 Australian companies in the Ghost Shark project, which is wholly conceived, engineered, and manufactured within Australia,” Dr. Arnott added. “Our intention is to scale up production domestically to cater to the Royal Australian Navy’s requirements before extending our offerings to allied nations and partners worldwide.”

“By employing innovative scaled agile development methodologies, we amalgamate technological and defense sector practices, yielding significant dividends,” Dr. Arnott emphasized. “Ghost Shark embodies a program of which Australians can rightfully take pride.”

Minister for Defence Industry, Pat Conroy, affirmed, “Ghost Shark exemplifies the synergy between Defence and Australian industry in swiftly cultivating new sovereign capabilities to meet contemporary challenges.”

“The transition of Ghost Shark to ASCA underscores Defence’s unwavering commitment to the program,” Minister Conroy emphasized. “ASCA’s focus on accelerating innovation into tangible capability not only bolsters the Australian Defence Force’s competitive edge but also generates employment opportunities for Australians involved in commercializing cutting-edge technology.”

Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Mark Hammond, underscored, “This collaboration capitalizes on Navy’s expertise, ASCA’s agility in delivery, Defence’s scientific acumen, and Anduril Australia’s proficiency in agile innovation.”

“As a maritime nation, the Ghost Shark constitutes one of the assets we are cultivating to safeguard and surveil our oceans and global connections,” Vice Admiral Hammond highlighted.

Chief Defence Scientist Prof. Tanya Monro AC remarked, “Delivering the inaugural Ghost Shark prototype ahead of schedule establishes a new benchmark for capability development aligned with operational exigencies. Ghost Shark has already surpassed expectations, well ahead of its scheduled three-year development timeline.”

The Ghost Shark program epitomizes the delivery of an operationally pertinent capability in a fraction of conventional defense schedules. The prompt initiation and testing of the inaugural Ghost Shark have proved indispensable for swift assimilation and refinement – this underscores our ability to furnish advanced asymmetric capabilities.

DSTG is actively contributing its pioneering technologies to augment Ghost Shark’s robust capability, alongside providing design and development proficiency for pivotal systems and payloads.

According to Prof. Emily Hilder, Head of the Advanced Strategic Capabilities Accelerator (ASCA), “Ghost Shark serves as a tangible manifestation of ASCA’s methodology in delivering advanced asymmetric capabilities with a development horizon spanning two to three years.”

“We’ve established a highly cohesive team for Ghost Shark, comprising members from DSTG, ASCA, Navy, and Anduril, each bringing their distinct expertise and contributing to ASCA’s Mission Zero,” Prof. Hilder emphasized. “Our collective success at pace hinges upon our collaborative efforts.”