DRONES FROM THE DEEP: PENTAGON DEVELOPS OCEAN-FLOOR ATTACK ROBOTS

The Washington Times on April 18, 2014, reported that the Pentagon is developing attack drones that can patiently wait on the ocean floor for years. Excerpts below:

DARPA, the Pentagon’s research arm charged with creating breakthrough technologies for national security, believes robotic pods that can quickly surface from the ocean floor are the perfect tool for a Navy that cannot always be in a region when hostilities first arise.

DARPA has requested bids for the final two phases of its Upward Falling Payloads (UFP) program this week, the technology website Ars Technica reported on April 18. Those payloads would include “low-power laser attack systems, surveillance sensors, and even airborne and aquatic drones that act as decoys or provide intelligence and targeting information,” the site reported.

Last year the Pentagon began testing conceptual designs for the new weapons, and soon it will move into move into Phase 2: prototype development. If initial testing of the technology goes according to plan in 2015 and 2016, the Pentagon hopes to have “full depth” testing by 2017, Ars Technica reported.

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