The Manta Ray prototype uncrewed underwater vehicle (UUV) built by Northrop Grumman completed full-scale in-water testing off the coast of Southern California in February and March 2024, as shown here. (Image: DARPA)

According to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the U.S. Navy has been researching and developing the use of unmanned underwater vehicles (UUV) since the late 1980s, with a recent focus on introducing large-scale autonomous undersea vehicles that require no human intervention for maintenance.

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