A team led by Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC)
has won a $5.4 million contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
(DARPA) to determine the feasibility of using supercavitation technology
for stable, controllable, high-speed underwater transport.
The Underwater Express program is a DARPA technology research
and evaluation program to establish the potential of a new technology.
Supercavitation creates a gas cavity between the vehicle surface and
the water, thereby reducing drag and increasing vehicle speed. The
program's ultimate goal is a new class of underwater craft for littoral
missions that can transport small groups of Navy personnel or
specialized military cargo at speeds up to 100 knots.