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DARPA awards contracts for Phase 2 of Manta Ray programme

27th December 2021 - 15:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team

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Artist’s concept of a Manta Ray UUV (photo – DARPA)

Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation and Martin Defense Group were selected to build and test Manta Ray unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs). The companies are each developing unique full-scale demonstration systems.

DARPA has awarded on 20 December Phase 2 agreements to continue the Manta Ray programme. The two prime contractors, Northrop Grumman Systems Corporation and Martin Defense Group were selected to build and test unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs). The total amount of the contracts was not disclosed.

The companies are each developing unique full-scale demonstration systems. This effort began in 2020 and is intended to design and advance UUVs that operate for extended durations without the need for on-site human logistics support or maintenance.

In Phase 1, 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.

This first stage was concluded with critical design reviews that demonstrated design maturity and readiness for advancement to Phase 2. The selected performers will now work on subsystem testing followed by fabrication and in-water demonstrations of full-scale integrated vehicles.

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