WASHINGTON — Anduril Industries said it’s negotiating a $100 million deal to design, develop and manufacture autonomous undersea vehicles for the Australian Defence Force.

The California-based company disclosed the talks May 4, saying a three-year development program for Extra Large Autonomous Undersea Vehicles, or XL-AUV, “has an incredibly ambitious delivery schedule” that will require “capability assessment and prototyping in record time.”

Three prototypes of the XL-AUV would be delivered to the Royal Australian Navy, Anduril said. The company billed the XL-AUV as affordable, durable and capable of executing military and non-military missions.

“There is a clear need for an XL-AUV built in Australia, for Australia,” said Palmer Luckey, the Anduril founder. “The XL-AUV will harness the latest developments in autonomy, edge computing, sensor fusion, propulsion and robotics to bring advanced capability to the Royal Australian Navy.”

Anduril announced an expansion into Australia this year. It plans to consult national experts and enterprises on the project and leverage the local supply chain. The company already works with the U.S. Defense Department, recently securing a $1 billion deal with Special Operations Command, and the U.K. Defence Ministry.

Anduril on Feb. 2 announced its acquisition of Boston startup Dive Technologies, which specializes in autonomous underwater vehicles.

“The world beneath the ocean is completely different than the one above it. It requires different types of sensors, modalities and problem-solving than the work we are doing in air, land and space,” Brian Schimpf, an Anduril co-founder and CEO, said in a statement at the time. “The Dive Technologies team brings unparalleled, deep domain expertise under the sea as well as a shared commitment to transforming U.S. and allied military capabilities with advanced technology.”

Colin Demarest was a reporter at C4ISRNET, where he covered military networks, cyber and IT. Colin had previously covered the Department of Energy and its National Nuclear Security Administration — namely Cold War cleanup and nuclear weapons development — for a daily newspaper in South Carolina. Colin is also an award-winning photographer.

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