- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 14, 2016

The Pentagon will soon be able to cover the ocean with special pods capable of launching drones at a moment’s notice.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) gave defense expert  Allison Barrie a look at its newest creation, the Upward Falling Payload (UFP) this week. The technology utilizes special pods that hibernate on the ocean floor until a threat materializes. The pods surface and release Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) after being signaled by U.S. military personnel.

“People thought this was an impossible, moonshot reach, and yet again DARPA has managed to achieve it,” Miss Barrie told Fox News Friday. “You can activate this pod from anywhere in the world. … It’s come so far in such a short period of time.”

One reason officials are so impressed with the UFP is because its 5,000-pound capsules can survive for extended periods of time under immense pressures on the ocean floor. The pods can be used to house drones for any kind of threat to the U.S. or its allies.

DARPA will soon put through its UFPs through Phase 3 of development, which means communications technology and high-pressure containment materials have been integrated and are ready for sea demonstrations.

“I can see applications in parts of South America, Africa [and] Asia, where we don’t have any kind of vessel nearby, and someone gets in trouble. You can use a drone for offensive purposes or just to monitor,” Fox News’s Adam Housley said. “It will be interesting to see, though, how the countries in those regions react to the fact that we might have some pods off their coast.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2022 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide