November 20, 2017
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Easy deployment
Network of unmanned undersea platforms would assist manned vessels

Today’s naval forces rely primarily on highly capable multifunctional manned platforms, such as ships and submarines. Even the most advanced vessel, however, can only be in one place at a time, making the ability to respond increasingly dependent on being ready at the right place at the right time.

With the number of US Navy vessels continuing to shrink due to planned force reductions and fiscal constraints, naval assets are increasingly stretched thin trying to cover vast regions of interest around the globe. To maintain advantage over adversaries, US naval forces need a way to project key capabilities in multiple locations at once, without the time and expense of building new vessels to deliver those capabilities.

DARPA has initiated the Hydra program to help address these challenges. Named for the multi-headed creature from Greek mythology, Hydra aims to develop a distributed undersea network of unmanned payloads and platforms to complement manned vessels. The system would integrate existing and emerging technologies
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