Ghost Shark Program Announces Vital Australian Supplier Partnerships

Dive LD Harbour Shoot © Salty Dingo

Anduril is announcing partnerships with ten key Australian suppliers who are collaborating on the Ghost Shark program. Through these partnerships, Anduril is building a resilient Australian supply chain as manufacturing of the first prototype accelerates ahead of schedule. 

The Ghost Shark collaboration uniquely brings together Defence Science and Technology Group’s scientific smarts, Royal Australian Navy’s battlespace prowess and Anduril’s Silicon Valley DNA in a real-time co-development process. The Ghost Shark is designed as a teaming vehicle to enhance the integrated force and interoperability with allies and international partners. Software-driven autonomous systems are a force multiplier for Defence, providing stealth, mass and persistence to cover the vast oceans and littorals that surround Australia.

Prof Tanya Monro, AC, Chief Defence Scientist said: “The DSR emphasises the need for speed – capabilities need to get into the hands of the warfighter faster.”

“DSTG has enriched the Ghost Shark program through integrating its own pathfinding technologies into this powerful capability. DSTG is providing expertise for the design and development of key systems and payloads, with embedded subject matter experts as part of the team.

“We’re also helping bridge the gap between Australian industry innovation and Defence needs. We’re working side by side on a daily battle rhythm to get cutting edge technology as fast as possible into the hands of the warfighter. Building an Australian supply chain, partnering with local manufacturers is central to the project’s speed and success,” said Prof Monro.

David Goodrich OAM, Executive Chairman and CEO Anduril Australia said: “The hardware and software agility that is built into the Ghost Shark provides huge potential for asymmetric advantage; delivering a range of underwater effects in high-risk environments.

“The Ghost Shark prototypes are being designed and built in Australia with the intention to manufacture in Australia at scale. Australian suppliers are fundamental to the project. Anduril has talked with 50 different suppliers across the country to understand their capabilities and how they could scale their manufacturing and is delighted to announce ten crucial partnerships today.”

Dr Shane Arnott, Senior Vice President Engineering, Anduril Industries said: “The project is highly effective because DSTG is contributing to the design as team members, not just as milestone checkers. And Navy are in the trenches of test and evaluation, conops and mission development. It’s certainly the best collaboration I’ve experienced in Australia over my two decades in this game.”

Anduril is talking with suppliers outside the usual industries associated with Defence.

“We’re tapping into a wider set of Australian industry: mining, medical, retail, consumer products. We come to manufacturing with a commercial mindset. Leveraging a wider supply base and different thinking to that of the jurassic defence primes to achieve the key goal of affordable mass for the warfighter. We are also leveraging the global supply chain under AUKUS Pillar 2, with companies like Sonardyne (UK) establishing a base in Australia providing sub-surface smarts to Ghost Shark and investing locally.

“In addition to the Defence Ghost Shark, we are creating a commercial Dive-XL variant for other sectors such as subsea infrastructure and resources. Australia is the perfect manufacturing base for XL-AUVs. We need to grow the Australian supply chain with us as this is just the beginning,” said Dr Arnott

The 10 partners are:

  • Ron Allum Deepsea Services – NSW
  • Sonardyne – UK and NSW
  • ACS Australia – VIC
  • Advanced Navigation – NSW
  • AMC Search -TAS
  • Marand – VIC
  • Microelectronic Technologies – QLD
  • Matrix Composites – WA
  • Axiom – SA
  • Advanced Power Drives – NSW

Details and quotes from the suppliers:

Ron Allum Deepsea Services (RADS) is 100% Australian company that designs and builds specialised underwater vehicles for Defence and scientific applications. They are perhaps best known for over a decade’s work with film maker James Cameron where Ron’s technical expertise was key to the success of Cameron’s expeditions to the wrecks of Titanic and Bismark.

Yvette Allum, Chief Operating Officer, Ron Allum said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Anduril, Navy and DSTG on the Ghost Shark project. Anduril is a young, dynamic and highly energised team.  They are pushing boundaries which in turn pushes our team to achieve great things.”

Sonardyne is a family-owned UK company, founded 53 years ago, with a very strong history in sub-surface navigation. The Ghost Shark project has facilitated Sonardyne opening an engineering office in NSW where they now have a team working on the Ghost Shark.

Sonardyne said: “Sonardyne are proud to be a part of this incredible opportunity to work across the globe and contribute to the ground-breaking AUKUS initiative. Together, we are ready to take on the world and make waves in the field of marine robotics!”

ACS Australia (which started in 1991 as a Corporate Research Centre) works across a range of industries including mining, consumer, commercial aerospace. They are manufacturing the external fairings for the Ghost Shark.

Paul Falzon, General Manager, ACS Australia said: “Since 2010, ACS Australia has successfully delivered a range of products to aerospace, maritime, defence, transportation, civil infrastructure and renewable energy customers with an Australian and global footprint.

ACS Australia is thrilled to be supporting Anduril on the Ghost Shark program, not only because it is such a unique and exciting opportunity, but particularly as it is a truly collaborative program. It has certainly accelerated our existing growth strategy as we work towards achieving project objectives in a very short timeframe.”