Palmer Luckey’s Defense Tech Startup Working With Feds at Both U.S. Borders
The surveillance tech startup that grew out of Oculus founder Palmer Luckey’s split with Facebook is growing up fast. Anduril Industries has quietly expanded its work along both the U.S. southern and northern borders in recent months, The Daily Beast reported.
Anduril's work was previously limited to a pilot program with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at a border site near San Diego. With its first trial at the southern border successful, the company's technology is now part of a pilot program at two U.S. sites on the Canadian border—a first for the young defense contractor.
The new pilot, in the works at border sites in Montana and Vermont, will test a cold-weather variant of Anduril’s “Lattice” surveillance suite, a modular system of 32-foot-tall towers, heli-drones, AI software, and virtual reality headsets. With the program, CBP seeks to “determine the efficacy and applicability of the technology to northern border challenges.”
Anduril is also formalizing its footprint on the U.S. border with Mexico. With its southern border pilot over, 14 of Anduril’s high-tech, autonomous sentry surveillance towers remain in operation in CBP’s San Diego sector. The agency also ordered 18 of Anduril’s towers with plans for installation along the Texas border by the end of the year. The company had previously conducted an unofficial test program on private land near El Paso in coordination with retiring Rep. Will Hurd (R-TX).
News of the company’s growing role at the border follows recent revelations that Anduril has secured contracts with the Marine Corps, the UK Royal Navy, and the Pentagon, under the Defense Department’s controversial AI drone targeting project known as Project Maven.