State/National/WorldNews Briefs

Northrop Grumman’s Manta Ray UUV Completes Full-Scale Testing

VENTURA— The Manta Ray prototype, an uncrewed underwater vehicle (UUV) developed by Northrop Grumman, underwent comprehensive in-water testing off Southern California’s coast in February and March. These tests showcased the vehicle’s hydrodynamic performance, including its various modes of propulsion and steering – buoyancy, propellers and control surfaces –during submerged operations.

Dr. Kyle Woerner, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency  (DARPA) program manager for Manta Ray, emphasized the success of the testing, affirming the vehicle’s readiness for real-world operations after swift assembly from modular subsections. The ease of shipping and assembly, demonstrated by Northrop Grumman, supports rapid global deployment without occupying significant naval facility space.

Woerner highlighted the energy-saving benefits of direct shipping to operational areas, underscoring the craft’s efficient buoyancy-driven gliding for in-water movement. The Manta Ray’s design includes multiple payload bays of various sizes and types, enabling diverse naval mission capabilities.

The Manta Ray project aims to develop and demonstrate a new class of long-duration, long-range UUVs capable of carrying payloads for persistent operations in dynamic maritime environments. DARPA is collaborating with the U.S. Navy to determine the next steps for testing and technology transition.

Meanwhile, PacMar Technologies, another Manta Ray performer, continues to test its full-scale energy harvesting system throughout 2024.

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