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Australia teams up with Japan to develop unmanned underwater vehicles.

| Naval News Navy 2024

According to information published by the Australian DoD on January 23, 2024, Australia and Japan have embarked on a groundbreaking agreement to jointly develop robotic and autonomous systems for undersea warfare.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Artist rendering of a Extra-Large UUV Ghost Shark. (Picture source: Royal Australian Navy)

This initiative is the first of its kind under a bilateral research, development, test, and evaluation (RDT&E) agreement established in June 2023, symbolizing a significant step in defense collaboration between the two nations.

The project involves a partnership between Australia's Defence Science and Technology Group and Japan’s Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics Agency, focusing on enhancing strategic capabilities in undersea communication and operational interoperability.


Japan has been actively developing UUVs, such as the OZZ-5 mine-countermeasures UUV by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, tailored for operations in challenging environments like the strong currents around Japan's southern islands.

Additionally, Japan is planning to develop UUVs for laying and removing sea mines. On the Australian front, the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) 's ambitious ‘Ghost Shark’ program is set to develop extra-large UUVs (XLUUVs).

The strategic alignment in their technological advancements and defense goals positions Australia and Japan as formidable partners in developing cutting-edge underwater technologies, potentially reshaping undersea warfare dynamics in the Indo-Pacific region.

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