Anduril hires a former military officer who led the rapid development of technology

WASHINGTON — The first director of the U.S. Army’s Office of Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies is joining Anduril Industries as senior vice president.

Anduril is a defense technology company specializing in artificial intelligence, machine learning and automation.

The company said retired Lt. Gen. L. Neil Thurgood will lead Anduril’s expansion in Huntsville, Alabama. Huntsville is near Redstone Arsenal, home to the Army’s Missile and Space and Aviation program executive offices, the agency’s Space and Missile Defense Command and RCCTO. Thurgood retired from the Army last year after 38 years of service.

In his new role, he will shape Anduril’s business strategy to help achieve the company’s “critical priorities, such as anti-aircraft systems, air and missile defense, tactical weapons and mission systems, and command and control capabilities,” according to a company statement. .

“Thurgood will also play a leadership role in the continued development and maturation of Anduril for large-scale production, program management and capabilities to support government partners,” he added.

As former director of RCCTO, Thurgood’s portfolio included rapid development and delivery of the agency’s most critical technologysmallincluding hypersonic and laser weapons, counter-UAS capabilities, and even prototype hybrid-electric combat vehicles.

During his tenure, he oversaw the creation of a new industrial base for the manufacture of ultrasonic gliders for the Army and Navy, the establishment of the Army’s first ultrasonic weapons unit, and the construction of prototype 50-kilowatt lasers on Stryker combat vehicles.

Thurgood told Defense News that he sees a race between Anduril’s technologies and program offices at Redstone Arsenal, such as aviation and missiles and space.

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Christian Brose, Anduril’s chief strategy officer, told Defense News that Thurgood is “a critical addition” for the company as it becomes “a bigger company, focused on production, manufacturing, all the things that we are now tasked with doing in real scale”.

Anduril has won contracts with the US Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and Special Operations Command and has supplied equipment to Ukraine, including Ghost loitering ammo. The company is preparing to send its Altius UAS to the country.

Anduril has acquired Dive Technologies, Area-I, and Copious Imaging. While initially focused on force protection, such as UAS and base defense solutions, the company has expanded to offer air vehicles and underwater vehicles connected to command and control and cooperative autonomy.

“There are some clear areas of opportunity for us,” Thurgood said. “Counter-UAS is the future.”

Jen Judson is an award-winning journalist who covers land warfare for Defense News. He has also worked for Politico and Inside Defense. He holds a master’s degree in journalism from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kenyon College.

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