The war between Russia and Ukraine has served as a testing ground for surface kamikaze naval droneswhich have been used by kyiv against Russian vessels in the Black Sea and key infrastructure such as the kerch bridge, in Crimea.

LOOK: Why will the US deliver weapons to Israel for US$1 billion days after vetoing the shipment of 900 kilo bombs?

However, “Ghost Shark” from Australia and “Manta Ray” from the United Stateswhich are powered by artificial intelligence systems, go several steps beyond Ukrainian robots.

Australia’s first “Ghost Shark” prototype. (Rodney Braithwaite/Australian Government).

In accordance with when Australia presented “ghost shark” in April, said it was the prototype of “the world’s most advanced autonomous underwater vehicles.”

Ghost Shark will provide the Navy with a long-range, stealthy, autonomous underwater warfare capability “which can carry out persistent intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR) and attack,” said the Australian Ministry of Defense.

The country confirmed that the first production models of “ghost shark” will be delivered at the end of next year.

It is not known in detail the specifications of the “ghost shark“, since both the authorities of Australia as the manufacturer Anduril Australia They keep that information classified, CNN noted.

This underwater drone It went from just an idea to the testing phase in two years. “Ahead of schedule and budget is unheard of,” Shane Arnott, senior vice president of Engineering at Anduril, told reporters.

“The delivery of the first prototype of ghost shark ahead of schedule sets a new standard for developing capabilities at the speed of need,” Tanya Monro, Australia’s chief defense scientist, said in a statement.

Ghost Shark was developed in just two years.  (Australian Government).

Ghost Shark was developed in just two years. (Australian Government).

Emma Salisburyof the British think tank Council on Geostrategy, told CNN that the ghost shark It looks a lot like the gigantic UUV Killer whale that is developing in USA.

“I assume that they are all intended for similar missions: intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and persistent strike capabilities, especially in the anti-submarine field,” Salisbury stated.

The American Orca has been in development for more than a decade, according to the Navy statement, which contrasts with the speed with which Australia has developed the “ghost shark” according to CNN.

Anduril Australia announced that the “ghost shark” will be put up for sale once it is incorporated into the Australian naval fleet.


The Manta Ray drone is developed by Northrop Grumman.  (DARPA).

The Manta Ray drone is developed by Northrop Grumman. (DARPA).

In the United States, the company Northrop Grumman Is developing “Stingray”, a fish-shaped underwater drone whose prototype was tested in February and March off the coast of Southern California, CNN indicated.

The Defense Advanced Research Products Agency (DARPA), the branch of the Pentagon in charge of developing new technologies, told CNN that the strong point of the “Stingray” is its ability to change the payload depending on the mission.


According to Northrop Grumman, this underwater drone It can be disassembled and fit into five standard shipping containers, to be transported to the deployment site and reassembled in the field.

“The combination of cross-country modular transportation, field assembly and subsequent deployment demonstrates a unique capability for an extra-large UUV,” said Kyle Woerner, program manager. “Stingray” at DARPA, in an agency press release cited by CNN.

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) program manager Kyle Woerner talks with a Northrop Grumman team member about the drone "Stingray".  (DARPA).

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) program manager Kyle Woerner talks with a Northrop Grumman team member about the “Manta Ray” drone. (DARPA).

Northrop Grumman also maintains that the “Stingray” is intended as a autonomous vehicle for long-duration underwater missions “where humans cannot reach.”

The vessel can anchor to the seabed and hibernate in low-power mode.

It can use the energy generated by ocean waves to recharge its batteries, allowing it to operate without human intervention.

According to The Telegraph, defense analysts believe that the US Navy wants to develop drones of this type to counter Russian and Chinese submarine operations.

Stingray” began to be developed in 2020 and DARPA He has not said when he will join the US military fleet.


There is a revolution in the military industry

By Andrés Gómez de la Torre

Defense issues specialist

Within the scope of a new regional security architecture promoted by the United States for the Indo-Pacific, and within what is being called a new “mini NATO” with the AUKUS mechanism, whose epicenter of concern is the geopolitical expansion of China, Australia has been significantly expanding its military capabilities with the support of the United States.

Thus, Australia develops new options for unmanned weapons, the same ones that are revolutionizing current battlefields, such as in the war between Russia and Ukrainethe conflict between Israel and Hamas, and the Iranian-sponsored Axis of Resistance, which feeds drones to its allied militias.

Just as Iran and Turkey have successfully developed air attack drone technology, they are now experimenting with the possibility of building underwater drones (the case of Australia and the United States) as a way to introduce these unmanned military technologies to maritime spaces, and whose immediate objective would be surveillance, reconnaissance and obtaining information, and then expand them to attack capabilities.

There is no doubt that a revolution is taking place in matters of technology and the use of war elements, where large industries and military consortia are playing a determining role in many paradigm changes of the Armed Forces.

China and AUKUS

US President Joe Biden (center) participates in a meeting with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (right) and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese during the AUKUS summit on March 13, 2023. ( Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP).

US President Joe Biden (center) participates in a meeting with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (right) and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese during the AUKUS summit on March 13, 2023. ( Photo by Jim WATSON / AFP).


Emma Salisbury he said that China“main threat” to US forces in the Pacific, It is also advancing in the field of underwater drones.

“Although details are scarce, as is the case with most of the Asian giant’s capabilities, They have been developing them for at least 15 years and they probably now have something similar to the Orca (but with torpedoes) in the testing phase,” he said.

The threat of China at sea led in 2021 to the announcement of the strategic pact named AUKUSfrom the English acronym of Australia, United Kingdom and United Stateswhich aims to “defend the shared interests” of those powers in the Pacific Ocean.

China reported that AUKUS threatens to damage regional peace and intensify the arms race in the region. Furthermore, he accused the three countries of maintaining an “obsolete mentality of Cold War”.

When AUKUS was announced, it was also agreed to provide a technology transfer for Australia.

Thus, in 2023 navy personnel Australia began to be trained aboard American and British nuclear-powered submarinesas well as on its bases.

This with the objective of preparing human resources for the Transfer of Virginia-class nuclear-powered submarines to Australian Navy: The first three ships will arrive in the early 2030s, and by 2040 the new fleet would be operational.

It will also design and build a brand new nuclear powered submarine for the navies of the United Kingdom and Australia, a model to be called SSN-AUKUS.

The new generation of submarines will have a British design, with Rolls-Royce reactors, and will be built in the United Kingdom and Australia, but will use shared technology from the three Anglo-Saxon countries, he noted. .

Under the agreement of AUKUSfrom 2027 the United States and the United Kingdom will park a small amount of nuclear submarines near the city of Perth, Western Australia.

Western powers accuse China of increasing tensions over disputed territories in the Indo-Pacific.

Beijing claims almost all of the country as its own. South China Sea and under the command of the president Xi Jinping has built in the area from cities to airstrips, from tourist facilities to infrastructure for military use on artificial islands, BBC Mundo detailed.

But those waters are also claimed by countries like Philippines, Vietnam, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei.