U.S. military research programs are taking shape to develop enabling technologies for large long-endurance unmanned underwater vehicles (unmanned underwater vehicle [UUVs]) able to operate independently for long periods over long distances to deploy surveillance sensors and weapons in global hot spots where necessary.
These projects are led by scientists at the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, Va., and the Office of Naval Research (ONR) in Arlington, Va.
One of the latest developments is release of an industry solicitation by DARPA last week for the Hunter program to develop an advanced payload delivery system for extra-large UUVs.
Payloads potentially could involve persistent-surveillance sensors, weapons, or other unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) and unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). Details of the Hunter program are classified and available only to companies with the proper security credentials.