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Tags: manta ray | u.s. navy | underwater drone | trials | ocean | refueling | trial

Manta Ray: US Navy's New Underwater Drone Triumphs in Trials

By    |   Thursday, 02 May 2024 09:01 PM EDT

The U.S. Navy has successfully trialed a cutting-edge, self-driving submarine drone, dubbed the "Manta Ray," which can hibernate on the ocean floor for extended periods without refueling, reported the New York Post.

The trials were conducted off the shores of Southern California in February and March, showcasing the full-scale capabilities of the Northrop Grumman-developed Manta Ray prototype.

Kyle Woerner, program manager for Manta Ray at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), hailed the tests as a milestone affirming the vehicle's readiness for real-world missions.

"The combination of cross-country modular transportation, in-field assembly, and subsequent deployment demonstrates a first-of-kind capability for an extra-large UUV [uncrewed underwater vehicle]," Woerner said.

Resembling its namesake with a sleek design, the Manta Ray employs innovative techniques, including buoyancy-driven gliding, to navigate through water efficiently. Its ability to anchor to the seabed and enter low-power hibernation mode further enhances its operational versatility, as highlighted by Woerner in a DARPA news release.

The craft's development forms part of a broader Navy initiative to bolster its underwater drone capabilities for extended missions. During the three-month testing period, analysts noted the Navy's strategic interest in countering advancements by global rivals, particularly Russia and China, in underwater drone technology.

Echoing this sentiment, The Telegraph reported on Russia's development endeavors regarding its Poseidon drones, boasting impressive speed and range capabilities. The Russian navy's plans to acquire nearly three dozen Poseidon drones underscore the intensifying competition in underwater warfare. Poseidon's purported nuclear propulsion system and payload capacity raise concerns among defense circles.

Beyond Russia, other nations such as Ukraine, the U.K., and Australia also invest in underwater drone development.

Jim Thomas

Jim Thomas is a writer based in Indiana. He holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science, a law degree from U.I.C. Law School, and has practiced law for more than 20 years.

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The U.S. Navy has successfully trialed a cutting-edge, self-driving submarine drone, dubbed the "Manta Ray," which can hibernate on the ocean floor for extended periods without refueling, reported the New York Post.
manta ray, u.s. navy, underwater drone, trials, ocean, refueling, trial, darpa, russia, ukraine
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2024-01-02
Thursday, 02 May 2024 09:01 PM
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