Australian Defence Force personnel have inspected an internally developed Lexcen uncrewed surface vessel as part of the Innovation Project Challenge.
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The Lexcen USV was developed by Royal Australian Air Force communication electronics technician Max Tesoriero, and collaboratively with Navy personnel, to deliver the USV in June at HMAS Cerberus for Navy Engineering Week.
Aircraftman Tesoriero said Lexcen, named after Benjamin Lexcen – Australian innovator and designer of the winged keel – was delivered within 14 weeks and on a limited budget.
“When I joined the RAAF, I never thought I would work on an unmanned surface vessel but I really enjoyed being part of the project and getting exposure to another branch of Defence,” he said.
Project manager Sub Lieutenant Ben Jackson said the project reflected the need to innovate in response to the changing face of naval warfare.
“What we have provided with Lexcen is an initial platform; an avenue for development, training, and delivery of autonomous surface vessel technologies for Navy and Defence,” SBLT Jackson said.
“We see it as an enhancement to existing combat systems, rather than an entirely new capability. An extra piece of equipment to help with identifying, engaging and mitigating threats, without a risk to human crew.”
SBLT Jackson said having AC Tesoriero on board for the project was of great benefit and highlighted how different branches of Defence can work together.
“It was really great to have an extra service come on board and help develop this capability,” SBLT Jackson said.
“Max contributed significantly to the project through his knowledge and experience of electronics and connecting the various subsystem capabilities into Lexcen. The challenge now is passing on the knowledge we have gained to ensure innovation continues in this space, because innovation is vital to Defence as a means to maintain our transient advantage.”