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BAE Systems has showcased the capabilities of fully autonomous M113 armoured vehicles during a demonstration to the Australian Army.

The demonstration involved two autonomous vehicles and was conducted at the Majura Training Site in the presence of the army chief lieutenant general Richard Burr.

It provided a glimpse of the potential of integrated autonomous technologies on future battlefields.

BAE Systems worked with the Australian Defence Force (ADF) in the autonomous combat vehicles project.

The company integrated autonomous technologies into the vehicles. Autonomous technologies being explored under the project could include increasing their use to reduce the need for soldiers in future battlefields.

Despite the focus on autonomous systems for military use, human operators will continue to have a role in the decision-making process.

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By GlobalData

Other applications of the innovative technologies could include intelligence gathering capabilities and logistics support for the military.

BAE Systems Australia CEO Gabby Costigan said: “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’s autonomous systems capability leverages more than three decades of collaboration between BAE Systems Australia and the Commonwealth Government through Programs such as Nulka and Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile (ESSM).

“Autonomous technologies will support soldier responsiveness in an accelerating warfare environment, increasing their ability to outpace, out-manoeuvre and out-think conventional and unconventional threats.”

The conversion of the M113 AS4 armoured personnel carriers took place at the company’s Edinburgh Parks facility.

The army will now use the two autonomous M113 vehicles for further experimentation.

In addition, the platforms will serve as test vehicles for technology developed by the Trusted Autonomous Systems Defence Cooperative Research Centre (TAS-DCRC), of which BAE Systems is a founding member.

The research centre seeks to help the defence industry acquire and sustain autonomous and robotic technologies.