Rheinmetall has announced it has launched its first Australian research and technology program.
The company says that, under the Autonomous Combat Warrior (ACW) program, Rheinmetall’s Australian, German and Canadian development teams will work alongside research teams from Defence Science and Technology (DST) group, the CSIRO, Queensland University of Technology (QUT) and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) to develop advanced sovereign robotics and automated vehicle technologies with the goal of creating a local automated military vehicle capability.
Rheinmetall Defence Australia Managing Director Gary Stewart said the program would lead the Australian development of next generation automated combat vehicle technologies for integration into the family of Rheinmetall vehicle platforms.
“ACW’s goal is to fundamentally change the way in which land vehicles support military operations by transforming a vehicle from tool to teammate to provide currently unachievable levels of soldier protection, support and tactical advantage,” Mr Stewart said. “This will see the Australian development of the next generation of land vehicle systems warfighting capability, with an emphasis on developing trusted automated systems which provide human-machine teaming and optional crewed control.”
Rheinmetall says its contribution to the program will take place across its Australian, Canadian and German businesses, with the focus of research to take place at the company’s Melbourne operations and its new Military Vehicle Centre of Excellence (MILVECOE) at Redbank, Queensland.
Under a 5-year strategic R&D alliance agreement, Rheinmetall Defence Australia will work with the DST Group to work collaboratively to advance automated vehicle systems, building on Rheinmetall’s relationship with DST in the area of simulation and augmented reality. The partnership also includes R&D around concepts and technologies that support the new LAND 400 Phase 2 Boxer 8×8 combat reconnaissance vehicle (CRV).