Northrop Grumman’s Manta Ray UUV Prototype Completes In-Water Testing

Manta Ray UUV is designed for long-duration, long-range missions in dynamic maritime environments.
  • Defensemirror.com bureau
  • 05:41 AM, May 2, 2024
  • 739
Northrop Grumman’s Manta Ray UUV Prototype Completes In-Water Testing
Manta Ray UUV prototype @DARPA

The Manta Ray prototype, an uncrewed underwater vehicle (UUV) developed by Northrop Grumman, has completed comprehensive in-water testing off the coast of Southern California during February and March 2024, DARPA announced today.

The testing showcased the vehicle's hydrodynamic performance, demonstrating its ability to operate submerged using all propulsion and steering modes, including buoyancy, propellers, and control surfaces.

Northrop Grumman transported the Manta Ray prototype in subsections from its manufacturing site in Maryland to the testing location in California. The demonstrated ease of shipping and assembly supports rapid global deployment without occupying valuable pier space at naval facilities.

Northrop Grumman’s Manta Ray UUV Prototype Completes In-Water Testing
Manta Ray UUV prototype @DARPA

“Directly shipping the vehicle to its intended area of operation conserves energy that would otherwise be expended during transit,” said Dr. Kyle Woerner, DARPA program manager for Manta Ray. “Once deployed, the vehicle efficiently glides through the water using buoyancy-driven propulsion. Additionally, the craft features multiple payload bays of varying sizes and types to accommodate a wide range of naval missions.”

Manta Ray aims to develop and demonstrate a new class of long-duration, long-range, payload-capable UUVs suitable for sustained operations in dynamic maritime environments. DARPA is working closely with the U.S. Navy to plan the next phase of testing and the transition of this groundbreaking technology.

In parallel, PacMar Technologies, another Manta Ray participant, is advancing testing of its full-scale energy harvesting system throughout 2024.

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