Lockheed Martin has been contracted by the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop and prototype a next-generation extra-large unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV).
Known as Manta Ray, the multiphase project is intended to demonstrate critical technologies for a new class of long-endurance, long-range, and payload-carrying UUVs.
According to DARPA, the Manta Ray programme plans to advance key technologies - up to and including at-sea demonstrations - that will benefit future UUV designs. These include, inter alia, novel energy management techniques for UUV operations and undersea energy harvesting techniques at operationally relevant depths; low-power, high-efficiency propulsion systems; innovative low-power techniques for underwater detection and classification of hazards, and counter-detection of threats; and new approaches to mitigate biofouling, corrosion, and other material degradation on long-duration missions.
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