Northrop Grumman and DARPA Advance Undersea Autonomy with Manta Ray UUV

Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC) has announced the successful assembly of its latest technological advancement in the realm of undersea exploration – the Manta Ray Uncrewed Underwater Vehicle (UUV). This development in autonomous undersea vehicles promises to redefine long-duration and long-range undersea missions with its payload-capable and energy-efficient design.

Northrop Grumman’s Manta Ray UUV, developed with DARPA.

The Manta Ray UUV, a product of a dedicated Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) initiative, is engineered to traverse the ocean’s depths on extended missions without the need for human intervention on-site, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in underwater exploration and surveillance.

Drawing inspiration from its namesake, the vast oceanic manta ray, this new class of UUV boasts an array of innovative features aimed at optimizing energy usage, enhancing payload capacity, and ensuring low-power propulsion. These advancements position the Manta Ray as a formidable tool in undersea operations, capable of navigating environments previously unreachable by humans.

“For over five decades, Northrop Grumman has been at the forefront of undersea technology. Today, we’re proud to introduce Manta Ray, a testament to our commitment to pioneering the uncrewed underwater vehicles of tomorrow,” said a spokesperson from Northrop Grumman. “Our full-scale demonstration vehicle embodies DARPA’s vision of harnessing cutting-edge technology to achieve strategic advantages in undersea exploration.”

Key Features of the Manta Ray UUV include:

  • Payload Capacity: Equipped to support diverse missions with its substantial payload capabilities.
  • Autonomy: Operates independently without the need for human logistics, enabling uninterrupted long-range missions.
  • Energy Efficiency: Designed to anchor to the seafloor and enter a hibernative low-power state, significantly conserving energy.
  • Modular Design: Allows for expedient shipment in five standard shipping containers, facilitating global expeditionary deployment and swift in-field assembly.

The Manta Ray’s introduction into the UUV landscape signifies a step forward in autonomous undersea technology. With its sophisticated capabilities, the Manta Ray aims to redefine how we approach, understand, and utilize the world’s oceans for military, scientific, and exploratory purposes.