Armed with a degree in Mechatronic Engineering from Curtin University, Branden started as a Field Engineer with the Maritime Sustainment business at Henderson before moving about the company through various roles including developing a Virtual Reality system as part of an engineering services transformation project.
“I’ve always loved working with new technology and progressing that technology to achieve better outcomes for the business,” Branden says.
It is this assertive attitude to technology development that has placed Branden at the forefront of BAE Systems’ work on establishing a trusted autonomous capability on land, working alongside his Red Ochre LABS colleagues.

As a Project Lead, one of his roles is overseeing the technical direction, customer relationship and project management for the Optionally Crewed Combat Vehicle (OCCV) program in partnership with the Australian Army.

BAE Systems Australia has delivered twenty M113 AS4 OCCVs to Army, the Red Ochre LABS team installing hardware and software into each vehicle that enables them to operate autonomously or as a standard crewed vehicle.

The Vehicle Management System enabling the vehicles to operate autonomously draws from the company’s “domain and platform agnostic” autonomy solution. Each demonstrator vehicle is providing crucial insights into the capabilities of integrated autonomous technologies on future battlefields.

“The OCCVs allow us to walk the walk,” he says. “They provide a way for us test out new autonomous technology and a mechanism for development with the customer and this is truly a privileged position to be in.”
 
Branden Fipps Body Image
 

Early in the program, Branden called on his former Maritime colleagues to work up some hardware for the OCCVs. “We had to deliver a solution in a short timeframe and there was no time to ramp up,” he says. “I reached out to anyone with some spare capacity and begged a few favours and luckily for us the Maritime technical services team answered the call.”

Branden is also driving the technical delivery of the autonomous solution for the company’s role in the Land 125 Phase 4 project, working directly to Red Ochre LABS Technical Delivery Manager Melanie Pollock on Robotic and Autonomous Platform options that will complement the soldier systems capability sought by Army.

“Working on this campaign is not only about finding a solution that meets the customer requirements, it’s also about better understanding the future roadmap for land autonomy,” he says.  

“Both (OCCV and LAND 125 Phase 4) have a strategic importance that ensures we are well positioned in a competitive environment to deliver the sort of capability the Commonwealth is seeking.”

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