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Australia's Ghost Shark XL-AUV Program - Autonomous Undersea Vanguard

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Australia's defense sector is undergoing a significant transformation, marked by the emergence of advanced technologies and strategic partnerships aimed at bolstering its maritime capabilities. At the forefront of this evolution is the Ghost Shark program, a collaborative initiative between the Australian Defence Department, Anduril Australia, and a consortium of industry partners. Designed to enhance the Royal Australian Navy's (RAN) undersea warfare capabilities, Ghost Shark represents a paradigm shift in autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) technology.

The Ghost Shark program's recent milestone achievement of delivering the first Extra-Large Autonomous Undersea Vehicle (XL-AUV) prototype ahead of schedule underscores the nation's commitment to innovation and security in the Indo-Pacific region. With three more prototypes set to follow, the program is poised to revolutionize maritime operations through its stealthy, long-range autonomous capabilities.

Unlike conventional submarines, Ghost Shark's design prioritizes agility and versatility. By eschewing the need for a crewed vessel's pressure-proof hull and sound-deadening equipment, Ghost Shark adopts a modular approach, housing machinery and electronics in watertight modules. This streamlined design enables the craft to operate autonomously for extended durations, facilitating persistent intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and strike missions.

Source: Ghost Shark ‘Alpha’ the first prototype co-developed by Defence Science and Technology Group, the Royal Australian Navy and Anduril Australia was unveiled. Ghost Shark Program is Mission Zero for the Advanced Strategic Capabilities Accelerator (ASCA) - Australian Defense (

Crucially, Ghost Shark aligns with Australia's strategic imperatives in response to regional challenges, including heightened tensions in the Indo-Pacific and evolving security dynamics. As China asserts its influence and North Korea engages in provocative missile tests, Canberra has intensified efforts to strengthen its naval capabilities. The Ghost Shark program emerges as a linchpin in Australia's defense strategy, offering a force multiplier that complements traditional maritime assets.

The collaborative nature of the Ghost Shark program underscores the convergence of expertise from various stakeholders. Leveraging the Defense Department's scientific acumen, Anduril Australia's agile innovation, and contributions from industry partners, the program epitomizes Australia's commitment to leveraging cutting-edge technology for national defense.

Moreover, Ghost Shark's indigenous development reflects Australia's aspirations for self-reliance and sovereignty in defense procurement. With an emphasis on domestic production and local industry participation, the program not only enhances Australia's defense capabilities but also stimulates economic growth and innovation.

Looking ahead, Ghost Shark is poised to make waves beyond Australia's shores. With plans to market the platform globally, Anduril aims to position Ghost Shark as a premier autonomous undersea warfare solution for allied nations. This ambition underscores Australia's role as a key player in shaping the future of maritime security in the Indo-Pacific and beyond.


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