Australian Army and BAE Systems Australia display autonomous M113s
Two fully autonomous M113s were the centerpiece of a landmark demonstration for the Australian Army this week, providing crucial insights into the capabilities of integrated autonomous technologies on future battlefields, Australian Defence reports. The ‘battlefield simulation’ demonstration was held at the Majura Training Site where the Chief of Army observed the two M113s in operation.
Two fully autonomous M113s were demonstrated at Majura (Picture source: AustralianDefence/BAE Systems)
In a six-month project, engineers and technicians installed hardware and software in the vehicles enabling them to operate autonomously. The innovative autonomous technologies being explored could remove soldiers from future battlefields and enable a range of other applications including intelligence gathering and logistics support. The on-board systems have been designed to comply with the rules of engagement, which always require humans in the decision-making loop. “This project highlights our commitment to leading the development of new technologies and collaborating across industry and academia to advance autonomous capabilities,” BAE Systems Australia CEO Gabby Costigan said.
The M113s will also be used as test vehicles for technology developed by the Commonwealth’s recently announced Trusted Autonomous Systems Defence Cooperative Research Centre (TAS-DCRC). The BAE Systems autonomous technologies used for this project have already supported Australian and UK Autonomy programs such as Taranis, Mantis, Kingfisher UAS demonstrators as well as the multi-all terrain vehicle (MATV) and Digger unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) demonstrators.