Rheinmetall Defence Australia has signed a strategic research and development partnership agreement with Defence Science and Technology (DST) to develop autonomous vehicle systems for land based platforms in Australia, the company announced on 22 October.
The five-year agreement will include research and development activities to support the Boxer combat reconnaissance vehicle (CRV) Rheinmetall is delivering to the Australian Defence Force for the Land 400 Phase 2 programme.
Rheinmetall’s capabilities in autonomous land platforms for defence include the Boxer JODAA operational and technology demonstrator which has been built for the German Bundeswehr. The demonstrator has been developed to test a range of technical capabilities including remote controlled driving supported by camera systems, and autonomous operations including the operation of unmanned aerial or ground vehicles.
Rheinmetall Defence Australia managing director Gary Stewart, said: ‘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.’
Rheinmetall has invested $2.5 million in the development of a new Accelerated Endurance Course at Linfox’s Australian Automotive Research Centre near Anglesea, Victoria.