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Dr Ian Langford Offers Expert Insight on ADF Funding Boost for Ghost Bat Drones

9 February, 2024

Yesterday, Security & Defence PLuS Executive Director Dr Ian Langford appeared on Australian ABC‘s “Afternoon Briefing” segment to provide expert analysis of the Australian Defence Force’s announcement of a $400 million AUD funding injection into the MQ-28 Alpha “Ghost Bat” autonomous drone program.

In the interview, Dr Langford emphasises the significance of the investment into this indigenous capability, which demonstrates Australia’s recognition that the Air Force will need to accelerate technology advancements through robotics and autonomus systems “if it’s to compete in this part of the world militarily over the coming decades.”

He also analyses the program’s connection to Australia’s alliance management, noting its commitment to “AUKUS and its Pillar Two focus on emerging technologies, with robotics and autonomous systems being a feature of that, really is demonstrated in practice by today’s announcement.”

Dr Langford goes on to analyse the significance of autonomous drones in modern warfare more generally, as demonstrated in the current Russia-Ukraine conflict and engagements with non-state actors, and provides insights on recent advancements in US autonomous drone programs.

Head to the ABC website to watch the segment, which starts at the 19 minute mark of the “Afternoon Briefing” program.