WASHINGTON — The first director of the U.S. Army’s Rapid Capabilities and Critical Technologies Office is joining Anduril Industries as senior vice president.
Anduril is a defense technology company that specializes in artificial intelligence, machine learning and automation.
The company said retired Lt. Gen. L. Neil Thurgood will lead Anduril’s expansion into Huntsville, Alabama. Huntsville is near Redstone Arsenal, home to the Army’s program executive offices for missiles and space and aviation, the service’s Space and Missile Defense Command and the 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 deliver “critical company priorities, such as counter-unmanned air 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 leading role in Anduril’s continued growth and maturation for large-scale production, program management and capability delivery in support of government partners,” it added.
As the former RCCTO director, Thurgood’s portfolio included rapid development and delivery of the service’s most critical technologies, including hypersonic and laser weapons, counter-UAS capabilities, and even hybrid-electric combat vehicle prototypes.
During his tenure, he oversaw the creation of a new industrial base to build hypersonic glide bodies for the Army and Navy, the establishment of the first Army unit with hypersonic weapons and the building of 50-kilowatt laser prototypes on Stryker combat vehicles.
Thurgood told Defense News he sees a match between Anduril’s technologies and the program offices at Redstone Arsenal, such as aviation and missiles and space.
Christian Brose, Anduril’s chief strategy officer, told Defense News Thurgood is “a critical addition” to the company as it becomes “a bigger company, focused on production, manufacturing, all the things that we are now tasked with doing at real scale.”
Anduril has won contracts with the Army, Air Force, Marine Corps and U.S. Special Operations Command and has supplied equipment to Ukraine, including its Ghost loitering munition. The company is preparing to send its Altius UAS to the country.
Anduril has acquired Dive Technologies, Area-I, and Copious Imaging. While originally focused on force protection such as counter-UAS and base defense solutions, the company has expanded to offer air vehicles and underwater vehicles linked by command and control and collaborative autonomy.
“There are some clear areas that are opportunities for us,” Thurgood said. “Counter-UAS is the future.”
Jen Judson is an award-winning journalist covering land warfare for Defense News. She has also worked for Politico and Inside Defense. She holds a Master of Science degree in journalism from Boston University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Kenyon College.