Page 32 - Australian Defence Magazine August 2018
P. 32

“At Autonomous Warrior 2018
we will have leading edge equipment and operationally- accepted equipment involved.”
Able Seaman Combat Systems Operator
Mine Warfare (ABCSOMW) Josh Low retreives
the REMUS, an autonomous underwater vehicle used to search ordnance in Talaghi Island as part of Operation Render Safe 2013.
reduces the risk of collateral damage, be- cause you are mitigating human errors – errors which have historically contributed to bad decisions.”
Human interaction is very important, particularly when it comes to winning the hearts and minds of a population affected by conflict or a natural disaster. Although unmanned systems are increasingly able to shoulder much of the burden during these operations, the ‘shared risk’ of having hu- mans involved in the processes will always be important.
Autonomous Warrior 2018
The ‘Five Eyes’ Autonomous Warrior 2018 activity in November will incorporate the three requirements laid out for the ADF in the 2016 Defence White Paper for combat, regional security and military support op- erations and scenarios have been developed for the employment of autonomous and unmanned capability for each. For the first time in the series, unmanned ground ve- hicles (UGV) will be included in the opera- tion, which will be conducted in the littoral environment in Jervis Bay.
The three require- ments will be played out end to end across ten different scenarios including, counter submarine incursion, sea defence, counter piracy, counter arms smuggling, oil terminal and infrastructure de- fence, fleet base attack,
fleet base defence, support to ground forces, managing civil unrest and clandestine in- sertion from sea.
“We are running them end to end, as if it was a deployed amphibious operation,” CMDR Hornsby explained to ADM. “The force multiplier effect of unmanned or au- tonomous systems in all domains, whether that’s a massively improved rate of effort
underwater – being able to communicate in ways that we couldn’t before using USVs – being able to massively improve your ISR information from UAVs or being able to achieve distributed offensive and defensive effects with UGVs. They are the sorts of ground-breaking changes that are possible and that’s what we will be testing at Au- tonomous Warrior 2018.”
The core activity of AW18 is a DST-led trial to test the command and control and artificial intelligence systems that each of the five eyes partners has been working on under a program known as ‘Allied IMPACT’. There are also industry demonstrations and exer- cise components and because Minister for Defence Industry Christopher Pyne is par- ticularly keen for Australian innovation and Australian industry to be highlighted, VIPs, members of the NATO community and Australia’s partners in South-East Asia will be hosted on the last two days of the activity.
“Trusted autonomous systems are allow- ing us to do things better in conventional and unconventional warfare, but in littoral warfare they are allowing us to do things that we couldn’t do previously,” CMDR Hornsby concluded. “At AW18 we will have leading edge equipment and opera- tionally-accepted equipment involved.
“Being conducted at the Royal Austra- lian Naval College, this is future leaders meeting future technology.”
“Nothing is going to comfort displaced people except another human. Nothing is going to assure an ally if you’re not there sharing the risk. An unmanned “vending system” distributing supplies, no matter how clever it is, cannot to that,” CMDR Hornsby added. “You won’t win hearts and minds by sending in a robot, it’s about being there.”
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