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AUKUS agreement includes more than nuclear-powered submarines

Jun 12, 2023

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The military agreement between Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, known as AUKUS, will no doubt impact the balance of power in the Pacific. The first part of AUKUS, called Pillar I, is focused on getting nuclear-powered submarines into the hands of the Australians.

“Pillar II encompasses a wide range of advanced military technologies,” Andy Green, the president of Mission Technologies at HII, said.

Green spoke with Straight Arrow News during the Navy League’s Sea Air Space 2023 Exhibition in National Harbor, Maryland.

“[HII is] looking at collaborating across the AUKUS partnership between the U.S., the U.K., and Australia to make sure we’re sharing the best of all of those technologies,” Green said.

HII is known as a global leader in shipbuilding. The company is also one of the leading manufacturers of unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs). One of its newest vehicles, the REMUS 620, is just the sort of tool to be shared under the AUKUS agreement.  

“What it is,” Green said, “is a vehicle that can go underwater, can be sold in commercial or military versions, and it can carry a wide variety of payloads and sensors.”

The REMUS 620 builds on the prior successes of other REMUS UUVs built by HII. It’s open-architecture design makes it very modular, so it can be outfitted with different payloads depending on the mission. The REMUS 620 is around 15 feet long, runs on battery power and propels itself through the water at speeds between 2-8 knots.

If configured properly, the REMUS 620 can stay submerged for 100 hours or more. Like other UUVs, the REMUS 620 can be used for missions like search and recovery, under-water mapping, extended sonar, even as a countermeasure against mines.

It uses HII’s advanced artificial intelligence to navigate and collect vast amounts of data, all while keeping its user out of harm’s way.  The data REMUS gathers during a mission can be deciphered and disseminated with ease.

And just like in Ukraine, where their aerial cousins are changing the way land wars are fought, unmanned underwater vehicles like the REMUS are poised to have a similar impact on undersea military activities. Even if they never fire a shot.

“Information, like ammunition, is an absolutely critical part of any potential conflict,” Green said. “And so, the ability to share that, share the right information and in a timely way, that helps with decision making. At the end of the day, it’s going to help us as part of this three-way partnership, you know, succeed in any sort of potential security situation.”

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THE MILITARY AGREEMENT BETWEEN AUSTRALIA, THE UNITED KINGDOM, AND THE UNITED STATES, KNOWN AS AUKUS, WILL NO DOUBT IMPACT THE BALANCE OF POWER IN THE PACIFIC.

THE FIRST PART OF AUKUS, CALLED PILLAR ONE, IS FOCUSED ON GETTING NUCLEAR POWERED SUBMARINES INTO THE HANDS OF THE AUSTRALIANS.

Green: Pillar Two encompasses a wide range of advanced military technologies that we’re looking at collaborating across the AUKUS partnership between US and the UK, and Australia, to make sure we’re sharing the best of all of those technologies.

ANDY GREEN IS THE PRESIDENT OF HII’S MISSION TECHNOLOGIES DIVISION. HIS TEAM IS DEVELOPING MANY OF THE THINGS THE U.S. HOPES TO SHARE WITH AUSTRALIA AND THE UK. AND EVEN THOUGH IT’S A MILITARY PARTNERSHIP, GREEN SAYS NOT ALL THE SHARED TOOLS ARE WEAPONS.

Green: So, some of the technologies would include unmanned systems, like you can see over my shoulder here. This vehicle right here, it’s actually our newest vehicle, actually a model of our newest vehicle, called the REMUS 620. And what it is, it’s a vehicle that can go underwater, can be sold commercially, or military versions of it can carry a wide variety of payloads and sensors.

THE REMUS 620 BUILDS ON THE PRIOR SUCCESS OF OTHER UNMANNED UNDERWATER VEHICLES BUILT BY HII. ONCE THE 620 IS SUBMERGED IT CAN BE USED FOR A VARIETY OF MISSIONS. THINGS LIKE SEARCH AND RECOVERY, UNDER-WATER MAPPING, EXTENDED SONAR, EVEN AS A COUNTERMEASURE AGAINST MINES.

DEPENDING ON ITS CONFIGURATION, THE REMUS CAN STAY SUBMERGED GATHERING DATA FOR MORE THAN 100 HOURS. IT USES HII’S ADVANCED AI TO NAVIGATE AND COLLECT VAST AMOUNTS OF DATA, ALL WHILE KEEPING ITS USER OUT OF HARM’S WAY. THE DATA REMUS GATHERS DURING A MISSION CAN BE DECIPHERED AND DISSEMINATED WITH EASE. FOR SOME SAILORS, THAT MAKES THE REMUS WORTH IT’S WEIGHT IN GOLD

AND JUST LIKE IN UKRAINE, WHERE THEIR AERIAL COUSINS ARE CHANGING THE WAY LAND WARS ARE FOUGHT, UNMANNED UNDERWATER VEHICLES LIKE THE REMUS ARE POISED TO HAVE A SIMILAR IMPACT ON UNDERSEA MILITARY ACTIVITIES. EVEN IF THEY NEVER FIRE A SHOT.

Green: Information, like ammunition, is an absolutely critical part of any potential conflict, right? And so, the ability to share that, share the right information and in a timely way, that helps with decision making, you know? It’s certainly, at the end of the day, it’s going to help. It’s going to help us as part of this three-way partnership, you know, succeed in any sort of potential security situation
YOU CAN FIND MORE UNBIASED, STRAIGHT FACTS ABOUT THE AUKUS AGREEMENT AND OTHER UNMANNED TECHNOLOGIES UNDER DEVELOPMENT AT STRAIGHT ARROW NEWS DOT COM.

 

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