To tackle China, Australia now develops an underwater vehicle
In a bid to take on China;s growing maritime supremacy in many parts of the world, Australia recently unveiled what is referred to as a sub-drone prototype underwater vehicle meant for surveillance operations in the Indo-Pacific region. The Dive-Large Displacement (Dive-LD) vehicle will be developed by Australia at an estimated cost of $100 million.
The Dive-LD is a key part of Australia's Extra Large Autonomous Undersea Vehicle or XL-AUV program which primarily aims to have autonomous vehicles under the water for carrying out a host of operations. The Dive-LD in particular is being worked upon by the Aussie government in partnership with Anduril Australia, the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) and the Defense Science and Technology Group state agency.
Due to the sensitive nature of its eventual operations, specific details of the Dive-LD have not yet been revealed. But previous reports have suggested that it could be as long as up to 30 meters and be controlled from a distance via remote-based devices. Upon deployment, these autonomous undersea vehicles would be able to perform operations like patrols along pre-programmed routes, electronic spying and even carry out anti-submarine warfare.
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But the application area could also be extended beyond military purposes as the Dive-LD may also be deployed for peace-time and rescue operations. This capability would potentially complement and enhance the agility and potency of the Royal Australian Navy's current submarine and surface combatant force in maintaining peace and stability in the Indo-Pacific region," an official statement from the country's defense ministry read.
Advances in technology is fast changing the face of mobility options in modern warfare with electric and autonomous abilities adding a whole lot of teeth to the existing muscle power. Armies around the world are increasingly depending on drones and now even looking at modified versions of electric vehicles (EVs) as light infantry vehicles to carry out covert and overt operations.