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Australia's submarine solution

Dona Ferentes

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Oh dear.

Anyway , moving on, probably at a tangent, two or three possibly, from Aussie subs, here's a bit on Uncrewed Vessels and the legal context , which is quite complex.

 

JohnDe

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Oh dear.

Anyway , moving on, probably at a tangent, two or three possibly, from Aussie subs, here's a bit on Uncrewed Vessels and the legal context , which is quite complex.


In war, laws don’t count for much and the winner decides.

I’m guessing that the operator and their commanders will be the ones charged with any broken laws, if the records are found.
 

Sean K

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I've been following this guy for a while. An ex-US submariner just for his general naval and defence news briefs. Has recently spent some time on AUKUS and our future subs. Good summary of the latest.

 

Sean K

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Now we're thinking.

Screenshot 2023-04-20 at 4.40.28 pm.png

Screenshot 2023-04-20 at 4.40.40 pm.png


The Ghost Shark uncrewed submarine won’t replace anything in current Navy service because nothing has existed until now that can do its job.

That’s one reason why Defence’s Science and Technology Group and the Royal Australian Navy have invested heavily in it.

Another reason is that it challenges existing capability development and acquisition paradigms: not only is it supposed to enter service very quickly, the contractor who is designing and building it at a secret location on Sydney Harbour, US software giant Anduril, is funding half of the $140m cost of the project as well. Defence’s 50 per cent contribution is funded through the Next Generation Technologies Fund (NGTF) which is administered by DSTG.

The Ghost Shark, or Extra Large Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (XL-AUV), program which began only in July last year, will be controlled by Anduril’s own Artificial Intelligence-powered Lattice Operating System (OS). The concept for Ghost Shark is that it will be an affordable, autonomous, long-endurance and multi-mission system.

“Make no mistake, (XL-AUVs) will be a game-changer,” said former head of Navy Capability Rear Admiral Peter Quinn when he officially named the Ghost Shark last year.

“They will provide militaries with a persistent option for the delivery of underwater effects in high-risk environments, complementing our existing crewed ships and submarines as well as our future uncrewed surface vessels.

“The Ghost Shark program will create uncertainty in the minds of our potential adversaries and will deter both illegal and coercive behaviour,” he added.

“Due to their modular and multi-role nature, our adversaries will need to assume that their every move in the maritime domain is subject to our surveillance, and that every XL-AUV is capable of deploying a wide range of effects, including lethal ones.”

Exact roles and performance targets are classified, but to achieve these goals, it will be modular, customisable and optimised with different payloads for different missions.

And to achieve all of these things quickly, Chief of DSTG’s Platforms Division, Professor Emily Hilder, says “Our view is that the only way we’ll succeed at pace is if we do this together.”

The company aims to have three production-ready prototypes in the water by the end of 2025, though the first of those will be at sea well before then, says Anduril Australia’s chief executive David Goodrich.

DSTG involvement with Ghost Shark began as a conversation with Anduril, followed by a joint proposal from Hilder and Quinn to the Vice-Chief of the Defence Force and then to the minister. The two teams are now intermingled: DSTG and Navy’s Warfighting Innovation Navy (WIN) Branch work with Anduril personnel in Sydney and some Anduril engineers work on DSTG sites.

DSTG brings two important factors to the project, Hilder adds. After more than 40 years of supporting the Navy’s submarine and sonar programs, it has a skilled workforce and deep domain knowledge about the underwater environment, and it understands Navy’s needs.

Some of those experts in computational fluid dynamics, propulsion, energy storage and simulation have transferred seamlessly to the Ghost Shark program. They have been able to take early designs for the Ghost Shark, model them and then test them to determine things like the best shape to balance the conflicting needs of manoeuvrability, propulsion efficiency and stealth. At times, they have turned around one concept design a day.

“If you want to be able to do fast-moving innovative activity well, you need a really strong and broad technology base,” says Hilder. “You can only build a base like that if you have a deliberate, long-term R&D program.”

‘The Ghost Shark program will create uncertainty in the minds of our potential adversaries and will deter both illegal and coercive behaviour’

– Rear Admiral Peter Quinn (retiured), former head of Navy Capability

Anduril’s approach intersects neatly with growing demand from the RAN and DSTG for what the Chief Defence Scientist, Professor Tanya Monro, calls “speed to capability”.

Speed really matters, agrees Quinn: “We need to be able to realise capability more quickly, from concept to getting systems into the hand of our sailors.”

Defence’s forward-leaning leadership means industry can disrupt the old status quo.

Speed is part of Anduril’s competitive advantage in the US and with the active support of Defence it is challenging traditional Australian capability development and acquisition models, Goodrich says.

“Anduril Australia has been working on a different rapid capability development and delivery model,” he says.

“Anduril doesn’t wait for government to fund its ideas and its programs; Anduril uses its own internal sources of capital to develop products ahead of a capability requirement. It takes us anywhere between six and 12 months from idea to fieldable product that we put into the hands of our warfighting customers, and then we rapidly iterate, working with our customers on improving those capabilities.”

The Ghost Shark will be both a commercial and a Defence capability, Goodrich adds.

“We are building for a range of other industries (including) the resources industry, the sub-sea exploration market, particularly the offshore wind market, and they will obviously have very, very different payloads for their particular commercial uses.”

The unprecedentedly close relationship between DSTG, the Navy and the company validates Anduril’s development philosophy of rapid engineering and fielding “evergreen” capability.

“This means that the capability is never finished and we’re continuously upgrading it and updating it, and our adversaries will never know what is coming at them because of this evergreen philosophy and capability that we bring to the table,” Goodrich says.

It also suggests that in an environment of constant innovation and upgrades there is no end state, and this may be Defence’s – and DSTG’s – new reality.
 
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Man on Jobseeker Dresses Up As Submarine In Attempt to Get More Government Funding


submarine-jobseeker-scaled-1.jpg



A Sydney man has updated his JobSeeker profile to reflect that he is now a nuclear submarine, saying he was looking forward to receiving $46 billion over the next 25 years.

With the Albanese Government predicted to ignore expert advice to increase welfare support payments, Nick Robinson – or HMAS Robinson as he is now known – said being a submarine was one of the few ways to get the Government’s attention these days. “It’s the only way you can convince the Government you’re of any value. I’ll expect a tri-lateral announcement with the US President and British PM to confirm the new payments in the coming days”.

Robinson said it was near impossible to live on the current $49-a-day Jobseeker rate while he looked for work. “I’m struggling to keep my head above water. But that’s okay, because I’m a submarine now,” he said, adding that the $46 billion figure was just an estimate based on current information. “My costs may well increase over the coming years”.

The 38 year-old later scrapped the plan after he learnt he would have to move to Adelaide to receive the payments.

 
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Oh dear.

Anyway , moving on, probably at a tangent, two or three possibly, from Aussie subs, here's a bit on Uncrewed Vessels and the legal context , which is quite complex.


That is an interesting and very complex proposition. What struck me was the question of how such a machine would be effectively controlled/managed. I can see how in a simple context one would just let loose a number of boats to attack identified enemy targets. This is like the drones already being used from the air.

BUT what could happen if there is an AI program involved which can potentially change the targets or be influenced to change the decisions?

Who/what is the "enemy" target ? Could a clever hacker change the parameters ?
 
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Well it sounds as though the Government, is starting to adopt a more fit for purpose plan, when it comes to Australian defense.
If an invasion force lands, it will be game over IMO, so pouring money into mobile ground attack vehicles seems pointless, again just my opinion.


A multi-billion-dollar project to build high-tech army vehicles will be slashed by more than two-thirds as part of a dramatic realignment of Australia's military that will fast-track the purchase of land-based missiles to deter rising regional threats.
 
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Now we're thinking.

View attachment 156011
View attachment 156012

The Ghost Shark uncrewed submarine won’t replace anything in current Navy service because nothing has existed until now that can do its job.

That’s one reason why Defence’s Science and Technology Group and the Royal Australian Navy have invested heavily in it.

Another reason is that it challenges existing capability development and acquisition paradigms: not only is it supposed to enter service very quickly, the contractor who is designing and building it at a secret location on Sydney Harbour, US software giant Anduril, is funding half of the $140m cost of the project as well. Defence’s 50 per cent contribution is funded through the Next Generation Technologies Fund (NGTF) which is administered by DSTG.

The Ghost Shark, or Extra Large Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (XL-AUV), program which began only in July last year, will be controlled by Anduril’s own Artificial Intelligence-powered Lattice Operating System (OS). The concept for Ghost Shark is that it will be an affordable, autonomous, long-endurance and multi-mission system.

“Make no mistake, (XL-AUVs) will be a game-changer,” said former head of Navy Capability Rear Admiral Peter Quinn when he officially named the Ghost Shark last year.

“They will provide militaries with a persistent option for the delivery of underwater effects in high-risk environments, complementing our existing crewed ships and submarines as well as our future uncrewed surface vessels.

“The Ghost Shark program will create uncertainty in the minds of our potential adversaries and will deter both illegal and coercive behaviour,” he added.

“Due to their modular and multi-role nature, our adversaries will need to assume that their every move in the maritime domain is subject to our surveillance, and that every XL-AUV is capable of deploying a wide range of effects, including lethal ones.”

Exact roles and performance targets are classified, but to achieve these goals, it will be modular, customisable and optimised with different payloads for different missions.

And to achieve all of these things quickly, Chief of DSTG’s Platforms Division, Professor Emily Hilder, says “Our view is that the only way we’ll succeed at pace is if we do this together.”

The company aims to have three production-ready prototypes in the water by the end of 2025, though the first of those will be at sea well before then, says Anduril Australia’s chief executive David Goodrich.

DSTG involvement with Ghost Shark began as a conversation with Anduril, followed by a joint proposal from Hilder and Quinn to the Vice-Chief of the Defence Force and then to the minister. The two teams are now intermingled: DSTG and Navy’s Warfighting Innovation Navy (WIN) Branch work with Anduril personnel in Sydney and some Anduril engineers work on DSTG sites.

DSTG brings two important factors to the project, Hilder adds. After more than 40 years of supporting the Navy’s submarine and sonar programs, it has a skilled workforce and deep domain knowledge about the underwater environment, and it understands Navy’s needs.

Some of those experts in computational fluid dynamics, propulsion, energy storage and simulation have transferred seamlessly to the Ghost Shark program. They have been able to take early designs for the Ghost Shark, model them and then test them to determine things like the best shape to balance the conflicting needs of manoeuvrability, propulsion efficiency and stealth. At times, they have turned around one concept design a day.

“If you want to be able to do fast-moving innovative activity well, you need a really strong and broad technology base,” says Hilder. “You can only build a base like that if you have a deliberate, long-term R&D program.”

‘The Ghost Shark program will create uncertainty in the minds of our potential adversaries and will deter both illegal and coercive behaviour’

– Rear Admiral Peter Quinn (retiured), former head of Navy Capability

Anduril’s approach intersects neatly with growing demand from the RAN and DSTG for what the Chief Defence Scientist, Professor Tanya Monro, calls “speed to capability”.

Speed really matters, agrees Quinn: “We need to be able to realise capability more quickly, from concept to getting systems into the hand of our sailors.”

Defence’s forward-leaning leadership means industry can disrupt the old status quo.

Speed is part of Anduril’s competitive advantage in the US and with the active support of Defence it is challenging traditional Australian capability development and acquisition models, Goodrich says.

“Anduril Australia has been working on a different rapid capability development and delivery model,” he says.

“Anduril doesn’t wait for government to fund its ideas and its programs; Anduril uses its own internal sources of capital to develop products ahead of a capability requirement. It takes us anywhere between six and 12 months from idea to fieldable product that we put into the hands of our warfighting customers, and then we rapidly iterate, working with our customers on improving those capabilities.”

The Ghost Shark will be both a commercial and a Defence capability, Goodrich adds.

“We are building for a range of other industries (including) the resources industry, the sub-sea exploration market, particularly the offshore wind market, and they will obviously have very, very different payloads for their particular commercial uses.”

The unprecedentedly close relationship between DSTG, the Navy and the company validates Anduril’s development philosophy of rapid engineering and fielding “evergreen” capability.

“This means that the capability is never finished and we’re continuously upgrading it and updating it, and our adversaries will never know what is coming at them because of this evergreen philosophy and capability that we bring to the table,” Goodrich says.

It also suggests that in an environment of constant innovation and upgrades there is no end state, and this may be Defence’s – and DSTG’s – new reality.
Bit late to the party as I posted on this weapon over a month ago (15 March).
Nuclear subs will be preyed on by these weapons, just like DJI Mavics are taking out multi million dollar tanks, artillery, missile launchers and command vehicles.
 
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Nuclear subs will be preyed on by these weapons, just like DJI Mavics are taking out multi million dollar tanks, artillery, missile launchers and command vehicles.
I guess the issue with these remote operated devices, will be range, speed and reliability of comms.
As with everything, it will only be a matter of time before counter measures are developed. With the advent and advancement of AI, picking winning technologies becomes more and more difficult.
The DJI Mavics are extremely effective in close range encounters, they may be somewhat problematic if they had to travel a couple of thousand km to engage the enemy.


 
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I guess the issue with these remote operated devices, will be range, speed and reliability of comms.
As with everything, it will only be a matter of time before counter measures are developed. With the advent and advancement of AI, picking winning technologies becomes more and more difficult.
The DJI Mavics are extremely effective in close range encounters, they may be somewhat problematic if they had to travel a couple of thousand km to engage the enemy.


In the next few years AI will mean that what we think of as unmanned today will actually be smarter than manned today.
I agree that developing countermeasures will become a priority. But as the Ukraine war has shown, the fact a countermeasure is possible does not necessarily mean it will be deployed in all circumstances.
Covering the world's oceans is going to be tricky and very expensive.
 
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In the next few years AI will mean that what we think of as unmanned today will actually be smarter than manned today.
I agree that developing countermeasures will become a priority. But as the Ukraine war has shown, the fact a countermeasure is possible does not necessarily mean it will be deployed in all circumstances.
Covering the world's oceans is going to be tricky and very expensive.
AI can also be hacked.
 
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In the next few years AI will mean that what we think of as unmanned today will actually be smarter than manned today.
I agree that developing countermeasures will become a priority. But as the Ukraine war has shown, the fact a countermeasure is possible does not necessarily mean it will be deployed in all circumstances.
Covering the world's oceans is going to be tricky and very expensive.
Very true and why a multitude of options will be required, to discourage an invasion force from considering landing an invasion force.
Australia has a unique problem with the massive un populated coastline and looking after that, will in itself keep Australia's resources stretched to the limit IMO.
Hopefully the need never arises, where we have to test our ability to defend it.
 

JohnDe

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I guess the issue with these remote operated devices, will be range, speed and reliability of comms.
As with everything, it will only be a matter of time before counter measures are developed. With the advent and advancement of AI, picking winning technologies becomes more and more difficult.
The DJI Mavics are extremely effective in close range encounters, they may be somewhat problematic if they had to travel a couple of thousand km to engage the enemy.


Exactly, like finding a needle in a haystack with the clock ticking.

First a ship will be needed to deploy them, this will have to be done covertly and at distance and possibly in dangerously close proximity to the enemy. And then they have to be operated within the limits of their battery/fuel supply.

These unmanned submarines will become important tools but with limited capabilities. Just like the current drones that are being used in Ukraine by both sides.
 

Sean K

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Who would have thought creating space or adding extra dollars to the US production line of subs would be an issue?

Maybe that's why Dictator Dan has cancelled the Comm Games. He's diverting funds to national security...


Screenshot 2023-07-21 at 3.54.57 pm.png
 
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Ukraine's eastern battlefield is littered with thousands of tanks and artillery pieces destroyed by cheap drones of both sides.
Let's not forget that this is 2023 and we are on the cusp of AI being used in warfare... suggesting the potential for drones to be significantly more menacing in future is massive.
So let's also look at what else is possible:
1699774644171.png

Naval drone warfare is in its absolute infancy, yet crowd funding is wreaking havoc against the supposed world's second best military.
So we really need to question why HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS is being committed to a tiny component of Australia's armaments when mere millions can already achieve a great deal.

Building on the local "Shark" project, the link below - at 3:05 - outlines what investing hundreds of millions of dollars can do:

The 3rd point, about politics, jobs and optics pretty much sums up "why AUKUS". In other words Albo looks "strong", we are fed a line on jobs, and it's easier to big-note a sub rather than a UUV/AUV! None of these stack up in terms of being relevant to an adequate defence of Australia.
 
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Ukraine's eastern battlefield is littered with thousands of tanks and artillery pieces destroyed by cheap drones of both sides.
Let's not forget that this is 2023 and we are on the cusp of AI being used in warfare... suggesting the potential for drones to be significantly more menacing in future is massive.
So let's also look at what else is possible:
View attachment 165618
Naval drone warfare is in its absolute infancy, yet crowd funding is wreaking havoc against the supposed world's second best military.
So we really need to question why HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS is being committed to a tiny component of Australia's armaments when mere millions can already achieve a great deal.

Building on the local "Shark" project, the link below - at 3:05 - outlines what investing hundreds of millions of dollars can do:

The 3rd point, about politics, jobs and optics pretty much sums up "why AUKUS". In other words Albo looks "strong", we are fed a line on jobs, and it's easier to big-note a sub rather than a UUV/AUV! None of these stack up in terms of being relevant to an adequate defence of Australia.

I agree we should build drones to learn as much as we can about the technology until such time as the AUKUS subs arrive if they ever do, and if the deal does fall through at least we will have subs in the water
 
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There was an excellent piece in The Conversation the other day about elements of submarine warfare. It was entitled How drone submarines are turning the seabed into a future battlefield, and made this point:
"A Chinese underwater glider, the Haiyan, holds the drone sub endurance record with a 3,600km voyage over 141 days across the South China Sea."​
Given our first AUKUS sub - a second hand Virginia class nuke - might arrive in 9 years time we need to seriously ask ourselves how good drone subs with AI will be by 2030. Not just that, but the Ukrainian war is proof positive of the value of asymmetric warfare against a more powerful aggressor.

In the Australian context nuclear subs are attack vessels as they cannot hide in our continental waters and act as a deterrent. However, the combined total firepower of all them should they ever be at sea at the same time, would be less than a major aggressor could deliver in the first day of an offensive. How such a nonsensical approach to "defence" could be considered rational in this day and age beggars belief.

Only a small fraction of the AUKUS expenditure is necessary to achieve ten times the firepower of our full AUKUS fleet. We have a very capable DSTG that remains severely underfunded and also lacks the types of recruits that are necessary due to relatively poor remuneration. AUKUS is supposed to provide lots of jobs, but in reality it will be pitifully few. It's about time we started investing more in our home grown future and returned us to those days where, for example, the CSIRO was highly respected for its innovation leading to world class solutions that could be commercialised.
 

Knobby22

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China plan to have their new subs operable 2 years earlier than Australia, in 2030. the Type 096 has stealth capability, with missile range of 900 -10,000 kms.
those who argue we don't need this capability are not understanding the big picture.

From the free press.

 
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