Northrop Grumman’s Manta Ray Underwater Robot Ready for the Real World After Full-Scale Testing

Northrop Grumman’s underwater robot, The Manta Ray, is ready for the real world after demonstrating first-of-its kind capabilities during testing.

The DARPA-funded underwater uncrewed vehicle recently passed comprehensive testing in the ocean near southern California. The tests proved the UUV can move underwater using different methods like buoyancy and propellers.

In a news release, Dr. Kyle Woerner from DARPA said the tests prove The Manta Ray is ready for real-world use.

“Our successful, full-scale Manta Ray testing validates the vehicle’s readiness to advance toward real-world operations after being rapidly assembled in the field from modular subsections,” Woerner, the DARPA program manager for Manta Ray, said. “The combination of cross-country modular transportation, in-field assembly, and subsequent deployment demonstrates a first-of-kind capability for an extra-large UUV.”

The robot is built for long missions. It was sent in pieces from Maryland to California, demonstrating it can be easily transported and assembled.

Another contractor working on the Manta Ray project, PacMar Technologies, is testing a system that helps the underwater robot gather and use energy from its surroundings.

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