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July 08 2015 - 21:07

Russia's DARPA Working on Underwater Battlebots to Protect Coastline

The underwater robot appears to be an answer to a similar U.S. Navy and DARPA program.

The underwater robot appears to be an answer to a similar U.S. Navy and DARPA program.

Russia's advanced military technology agency is working on a special underwater robot to protect Russian shores from foreign underwater intruders, news agency TASS reported Wednesday, citing the Foundation for Advanced Research Projects.

The project will be taken on as part of ongoing research into methods of detecting and locating ultra-quiet underwater objects.

"In the course of this project, the laboratory is creating a special underwater robot," a spokesperson for the Foundation for Advanced Research Projects told TASS.

The foundation was created in 2012 at the request of Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin — the Russian government's top weapons official — as an answer to the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which is tasked with spearheading much of Washington's cutting-edge military research and development projects.

The underwater robot appears to be an answer to a similar U.S. Navy and DARPA program, known as the Persistent Littoral Undersea Surveillance, or PLUS, program. PLUS has already seen limited deployment, The Wall Street Journal reported last year.

Russia's DARPA analogue has made headlines recently by publicizing its efforts to create a walking, humanoid combat robot that resembles the killer robot at the heart of the "Terminator" film franchise. The robot was seen last year driving a 4x4 bike through an obstacle course, and this year is expected to learn how to run.

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