- The Washington Times - Friday, April 18, 2014

The Pentagon has come up with a new way to place paranoia in the minds of future enemies: attack drones that can patiently wait on the ocean floor for years.

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 Friday. 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.

One of the requirements for the new weapons would be that they would have to be able to survive harsh ocean-floor environments, sometimes for years at a time.

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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