The AUKUS alliance of Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States has tested the warfare capabilities of their new uncrewed underwater vessels and related equipment and personnel. According to a news release from the Department of Defense, the naval maneuvers included the launch of the new Australian Defence Vessel Guidance, which featured a range of underwater warfare capabilities.
The exercise, dubbed Integrated Battle Problem 23-3, also fielded the British warship HMS Tamar, which deployed autonomous undersea vehicles and their support divers to conduct operations on mine clearing and monitoring underwater infrastructures, such as pipelines and cables.
The maneuvers, held at an undisclosed location off Australia’s east coast, are samplings of AUKUS Pillar 2, which leverages cutting-edge military technologies, according to Royal Australian Navy Chief Vice Adm. Mark Hammond.
Australia’s submarines and other military assets “will increasingly work with autonomous systems below and on the surface of the ocean to extend range and lethality,” the vice admiral said.
Besides Pillar 2, AUKUS has Pillar 1 as its goal, which aims to deliver the SSN-AUKUS nuclear submarine to Australia in the 2030s.