Rheinmetall Defence Australia signed a five-year strategic research and development alliance agreement with the Defence Science and Technology (DST) Group on October 19 to collaborative on the development of land-based autonomous vehicle systems.
The agreement builds on Rheinmetall’s relationship with DST in the area of simulation and augmented reality, and will focus on the development of autonomous technology to support the ADF’s land-based platforms. This will include research and development around capabilities to support Rheinmetall’s Boxer Combat Reconnaissance Vehicle (CRV) ordered earlier this year under Project LAND 400 Phase 2.
The agreement was signed in Melbourne by Rheinmetall Defence Australia Managing Director Gary Stewart and Chief Defence Scientist and Head of Defence Science and Technology Dr Alex Zelinsky.
“Rheinmetall has significant expertise across autonomous systems in both the commercial automotive and defence sectors and we look forward to working collaboratively with the high calibre team at DST to bring this capability to Australia and explore its potential for the ADF,” Mr Stewart said in a statement. “This is just one way Rheinmetall is building a sovereign military vehicle capability in Australia to support the ADF.”
Rheinmetall’s capabilities in autonomous land platforms include the Boxer JODAA operational and technology demonstrator for the German Bundeswehr, and tests a range of technical capabilities including remote controlled driving supported by camera systems to autonomous operations including the operation of unmanned aerial or ground vehicles.
“We look forward to announcing future developments as Rheinmetall grows its research and development capabilities in Australia,” Mr Stewart said.