A brand new kind of unmanned surveillance expertise was used on Operation Resolute for the primary time. The seventh rotation of Australian Military’s Regional Drive Surveillance Group (RFSG) used Bluebottles, developed by Ocius Applied sciences, which may present a 24/7 on-water surveillance functionality, with the flexibleness to be readily manoeuvred to answer rising surveillance necessities or duties. In the course of the two-week deployment in October, the contingent carried out surveillance and reconnaissance on and round distant islands off north Western Australia for overseas fishing vessels and proof of unlawful actions. The contingent of 18 personnel was drawn primarily from Northwest Cellular Drive (NORFORCE) and tenth Drive Help Battalion, with attachments from the third Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment and 1st Fight Sign Regiment.

Main Alexander Brent, the Maritime Border Command (MBC) Liaison Officer to Rotation 7 mentioned,”The usage of the Bluebottles, and the embedding of an Ocius worker inside the job unit headquarters, added important functionality to the operation. Along with persistent surveillance, we had been ready to make use of the Bluebottles to conduct extra particular reconnaissance duties, reminiscent of seashore touchdown web site reconnaissance and avenues of strategy to particular islands prematurely of the bottom power. By controlling the Bluebottles remotely, the bottom power was free to have the ability to transfer independently of the USVs (uncrewed surveillance vessels) and give attention to different duties, reminiscent of onshore reconnaissance and patrolling, whereas nonetheless benefiting from what the Bluebottles collected.”


A Blue Bottle maritime unmanned surveillance vessel patrolling on Operation Resolute, in distant Western Australian waters close to Maret Islands. (Picture by SGT Jarrod McAneney/Australian Authorities Division of Defence)

The trial by NORFORCE will doubtless inform future teaming with unmanned maritime belongings to help amphibious and littoral fight manoeuvres. As one in all three Regional Drive Surveillance Items which type the 2nd Division’s RFSG, NORFORCE gives a persistent display screen in northern Australia, dwelling by the motto ‘Ever Vigilant’. A number of occasions a 12 months the RFSG display screen is supported by enabling belongings, together with medical groups, distant command-and-control nodes and Australian Border Drive (ABF) belongings to reinforce the effectiveness of the display screen as a part of Operation Resolute. The contingent carried out surveillance and reconnaissance of about 5500 sq. kilometres.NORFORCE Patrol Grasp, Captain Stephen Sewell, mentioned the efforts elevated situational consciousness of unlawful actions within the area.

“The troopers carried out surveillance from statement posts, dismounted patrols throughout the islands and patrols within the littoral atmosphere by watercraft. Working alongside the Bluebottle uncrewed surveillance vessels, in addition to ABF Sprint-8 plane, the knowledge our contingent gathered will allow potential responses from different authorities businesses,” CAPT Sewell mentioned.

Australian Defence Forces Test New Uncrewed Surveillance Technology
Australian Defence Drive troopers from Regional Drive Surveillance Unit deploy from a LCM-8 touchdown craft on Zodiac boats alongside the Blue Bottle maritime surveillance vessel deployed on Operation Resolute, close to Winy Alkan Island. (Picture by SGT Jarrod McAneney/Australian Authorities Division of Defence)