First Autonomous Undersea Vehicle ‘Ghost Shark’ Prototype Ready

Department of Defence

The Albanese 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 Albanese 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.

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

Quotes attributable to Minister for Defence Industry, Pat Conroy:

“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.”

Quotes attributable to Head of ASCA, Professor Emily Hilder:

“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.”

Quotes attributable to Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Mark Hammond:

“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.”

18 APRIL 2024

/Public Release. View in full here.