The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is testing a drone that can hibernate on the ocean floor for years at a time before being launched to the surface and into the air at the push of a button.
Dubbed Upward Falling Payloads (UFP) program, the project was detailed in a biennial report released last week by DARPA, a US Department of Defense agency.
According to DARPA Director Arati Prabhakar, the Agency is trying to approach military technology needs with a new perspective, after having focused primarily on assets for ground wars in the past 14 years. The UFP program will therefore be one of several other research projects DARPA will focus on as a means of revolutionizing the US Military’s maritime strategy.
What DARPA envisions is having a number of drones planted on the ocean floor in locations where geopolitical hostility is possible, readily available for launch whenever needed. The drone, housing sensors and non-lethal weapons, would lie dormant in the ocean until it is remotely triggered by the US Navy, and sent to the surface for use.
“Today, the US Navy puts capability on the ocean floor using very capable but fairly expensive submarine platforms,” Steven H. Walker, deputy director of DARPA said to the Washington Times. “What we’d like to do in this program is preposition capability on the ocean floor and have it be available to be triggered real time, when you need it.”
Full article: Pentagon Testing Drones That Can Launch from Ocean Floor (Sputnik News)