Non-acoustic anti-submarine warfare (ASW) technologies are goal of DARPA SWASH research program

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ARLINGTON, Va., 25 March 2011. Anti-submarine warfare (ASW) experts in the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) in Arlington, Va., are asking industry for ideas to help detect enemy submarines in shallow coastal waters and harbors without using traditional acoustic submarine-hunting technologies like sonar.

The DARPA Strategic Technology Office released a broad agency announcement Thursday (DARPA-BAA-11-41) for the Shallow Water Agile Submarine Hunting (SWASH) program, which seeks to develop non-acoustic ASW surveillance and cued search capability for shallow-water littorals without the use of traditional acoustics or sonar.


DARPA subsequently awarded three contracts for the SWASH program. Applied Physical Sciences Corp. (APS) in Groton, Conn., won a $367,507 contract on 28 Sept. 2011; SRC Inc. in North Syracuse, N.Y., won a $249,739 contract on 28 Oct. 2011; and Cortana Corp. in Falls Church, Va., won a $496,500 contract on 13 Jan. 2012.

The SWASH program, when the contracts were awarded, was described as an ASW surveillance and cued search capability for shallow water littorals without the use of traditional acoustics or sonar.


Cued search capability refers to a way of looking for submerged submarines using data from separate or remote sensors. For the SWASH research effort, DARPA scientists are asking industry for ideas on the widest range possible of relevant sensing solutions, which would be useful across all phases of conflict. DARPA anticipates awarding several contracts.

DARPA experts are particularly interested in small, lightweight, low power approaches that offer the greatest opportunities for using on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and other unmanned airborne platforms, DARPA officials say. Companies interested must have at least a secret facility clearance, and be able to conduct secret-level research. No further details have yet been released.

A proposer's day to explain further details of the SWASH program is tentatively scheduled for 7 April 2011. Companies interested should submit proposals no later than 9 May 2011 to DARPA/STO, 3701 North Fairfax Dr., Arlington, VA 22203-1714 (Attn.: DARPA-BAA-11-41).

For questions or concerns contact the DARPA BAA coordinator by e-mail at, or by fax at 703-741-0220. More information is online at

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