U.S. Navy Selects Anduril to Develop Underwater Drones

Anduril's Dive family of autonomous underwater vehicles has been selected by the U.S. Navy and the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) to prototype innovative new capabilities for undersea warfare By Joseph Macey / 14 Feb 2024
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The U.S. Navy selected Anduril and its Dive family of large autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) to prototype distributed, long-range, persistent underwater sensing and payload delivery in contested environments. 

Anduril provides a family of AI-enabled AUVs that are designed to perform a wide range of defense and commercial missions.

“Our selection takes place at a critical moment for the Department of Defense,” said Anduril CEO and Co-Founder Brian Schimpf. “In an era of strategic competition, our AUVs like Dive-LD provide urgently-needed capability to deter maritime threats around the world. We are excited to work with our U.S. Government partners as we look to build advanced, affordable, autonomous capabilities at scale in support of U.S. Navy priorities.”

Amid rising tensions in the Indo-Pacific region, particularly in the maritime environment, the Department of Defense (DoD) signaled its intent to invest in large quantities of attritable autonomous systems to strengthen deterrence, project power, and achieve affordable mass. To that end, Dive-LD leverages commercial best practices to deliver unparalleled dominance in the undersea environment at rapid speed, massive scale, and low cost for a vehicle of this class.

Mass is a critical element of undersea deterrence. But insufficient fielding of unmanned undersea vehicles with long endurance and large payload capabilities at scale has created a significant gap. In July 2023, DIU sought proposals for commercial solutions to fill that gap. As part of the selection process, Dive-LD carried out government-defined missions for DIU and U.S. government program sponsors during a “swim-off” competition that rigorously evaluated vehicle capabilities at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport, Rhode Island.

During this event, Anduril engineers successfully tracked and shared the location of the Dive-LD asset with operators around the world in real-time by leveraging Lattice, Anduril’s AI-powered software platform for command-and-control (C2) of autonomous vehicles, highlighting how multiple operators, units, and watch floors can leverage Lattice for remote mission monitoring and execution. After the successful demonstration, Dive-LD was down-selected for a contract under DIU’s Commercial Solutions Opening process.

“Dive-LD is foundational to Anduril’s maritime capabilities for commercial and defense applications. By combining proven subsea vehicle development expertise with advanced manufacturing processes, the platform is quick to produce, economical to manufacture and service, simple to customize, and robust in operation,” added Anduril Chief Strategy Officer Chris Brose. “Dive-LD is the most reliable and flexible AUV on the market today, capable of rapidly integrating complex payloads or multi-sensor suites to provide advanced capability for a wide range of missions.”

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