Delegates from the Australian Defense Science Technology Group and Royal Australian Navy engaged in discussions with their counterparts from the Republic of Singapore Navy to explore the advancement and progression of autonomous maritime systems.
During Indo-Pacific Endeavour, the discussions in Singapore centered around the shared interest in robotics, autonomous systems and artificial intelligence (RAS-AI), and how both partner nations can collaborate on this technology.
Maritime Deployable Robotic Autonomous Systems and Experimentation Unit (MDREU) Commanding Officer, Lieutenant Commander Charlie Kenney, said Singapore’s sophisticated unmanned surface vehicle technology makes them an important naval partner for Australia.
“Within the next decade, robotic technologies will transform the maritime industry and we’ll see an increase in uncrewed vessels and RAS-AI technology on and under the water,” Lieutenant Commander Kenney said.
Like Australia, Singapore is a hub of maritime traffic and relies heavily on maritime trade for much of its import and export.
Lieutenant Commander Kenney said these similarities mean both countries are focused on improving their uncrewed underwater vehicle capabilities and uncrewed surface vessels.
Defence Science Technology Group discipline lead in RAS/vehicle systems integration, Neil Tavener, elaborated on the broader scope of the collaboration.
“This technology will extend our current capabilities by using autonomous systems to supplement manned platforms and allow us to operate in areas where people can’t go,” Tavener said.
While this journey continues to mature through its implementation, these types of systems will improve safety, increase operational effectiveness and expand capabilities for the Navy.
As Singapore rapidly evolves its unmanned platforms to meet current objectives, Australia’s timeline of naval technology implementation means it can learn from Singapore's expertise and innovations.
Activities like Indo-Pacific Endeavour allow Australia to develop relationships with regional partners that enhance the ability to respond to shared security challenges in an increasingly dynamic environment.