DARPA Selects Performers to Build, Test Manta Ray Unmanned Underwater Vehicles

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Source: DARPA, https://www.darpa.mil/news-events/2021-12-20
Source: DARPA, https://www.darpa.mil/news-events/2021-12-20

December 22, 2021 | Originally published by DARPA on December 12, 2021

DARPA has awarded Phase 2 contracts to continue the Manta Ray program that began in 2020. The effort seeks to demonstrate innovative technologies allowing payload-capable autonomous unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) to operate on long-duration, long-range missions in ocean environments. The two prime contractors, Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation and Martin Defense Group, are each developing unique full-scale demonstration vehicles.

The Manta Ray program seeks to develop UUVs that operate for extended durations without the need for on-site human logistics support or maintenance. In Phase 1 of the program, performers designed and conducted preliminary testing on novel approaches in energy management, UUV reliability, biofouling and corrosion control, navigation, and undersea obstacle avoidance, among other areas that directly enable long-endurance missions.

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