Downer Defence Systems has been awarded a $3 million contract through the Defence Innovation Hub to be prime systems integrator for part of the Project LAND 154 Phase 4 Joint Counter Improvised Explosive Device Capability requirement.
The contract will see Downer team with a number of industry partners including Urban Circus, EPE, and Insitu Pacific to develop the Muskito unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) for a counter improvised explosive device (CIED) demonstration program.
“Muskito is an integrated CIED concept that will use autonomous systems and machine learning to detect threats above the ground and below the surface, and then flag them to an operator via a visual interface,” Downer Defence Systems’ Executive General Manager, Andrew Foster said in a statement.
“We are excited to work with the Commonwealth and our industry partners to develop the Muskito system,” Foster added. “IEDs and other related threats have been the scourge of Australian and allied service personnel in their operations overseas in recent decades, and we are grateful to be given an opportunity to play a role in helping to mitigate that threat.”
The teaming will bring a range of skillsets to the requirement. Downer Defence Systems will use its machine learning capabilities in the detection of surface and subsurface threats, and will provide overall project management to integrate the technology into the Muskito Mission System
Urban Circus will develop the system that converts the sensor data into a visual reference for the operator, Insitu Pacific will deliver the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that will integrate with the unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) to provide tactical data, and EPE will draw upon its Force Protection, CIED and Route Clearance domain expertise to support the initial conduct of a concept of operations workshop.
EPE will also supply innovation and integration support aligned to the provision of the HDT Hunter Wolf UGV, the Cobham Ground Penetrating Radar and a number of other technical systems.