Defence technology start-up Anduril has won two US Air Force (USAF) contracts worth $8 million for work developing enhanced autonomy capabilities.

The Irvine, California firm revealed the deal on 29 September, noting AFWERX will use Anduril’s Ghost line of uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs), which are designed to autonomously conduct surveillance and reconnaissance missions.

Anduril ghost

Source: Anduril Industries

Anduril’s Ghost line of autonomous UAVs use computer vision algorithms to detect, classify and track objects of interest, while independently navigating physical terrain

“With Ghost, Anduril will support the AFWERX mission to transform technology to meet rapidly evolving threats around the world,” the company says.

The Ghost uses computer vision algorithms hosted on an onboard computer to detect, classify and track objects of interest without the need of a remote operator, according to Anduril. 

That autonomy is powered by Anduril’s proprietary Lattice software, which the company says uses open systems architecture to allow the integration of platforms and payloads originating with different manufacturers.

“The Ghost platform adapts to user needs with a flexible design that allows operators to integrate sensors, communications, navigation and other modular mission payloads across generic interfaces,” Anduril says.

The company recently unveiled the latest Ghost-X variant of the type, which Anduril says features enhanced flight performance, modular multi-payload carriage and “greater resilience in challenging operational environments”.