DARPA is one of the key drivers of technological progress in the United States. Generous funding from the Department of Defense allows the agency to manage a wide range of projects. Here are five key areas that are currently in development.
1. Hypersonic Weapon
DARPA is working to create a system for countering hypersonic weapons. The system is called the Tactical Boost Glide (TBG), the main element of which is an interceptor missile that develops a speed of up to Mach 5. Lockheed Martin and Raytheon are involved in the project. The rocket prototype is expected to be ready by 2022-2023. To test it, it is planned to use the B-52 strategic bomber.
2. Artificial Intelligence
AI technologies in the private sector are actively pursued by Apple, Facebook and Microsoft, but the leading position is occupied by China, which focused on collecting information about its citizens. In turn, DARPA is working to create AI that works with less data.
3. Editing genes and creating new vaccines
It currently takes up to 18 months to develop a vaccine in the United States. DARPA proposes to shorten this period to 60 days. This issue is dealt with by the Prometheus program, with the help of which the time of recognition of infectious diseases can be minimized. Two years ago, DARPA launched the Safe Genes program to explore CRIPSR genome editing technology and the ability to disable or cancel its results.
4. Laser Weapon
The Pentagon intends to make it more compact and equip all the main branches of the armed forces with it - the Navy, ground forces and aviation.
5. Fighting inaccurate information
It gained particular relevance in 2016 during the US presidential election. Media representatives are concerned about the proliferation of fake photos and videos that are believed to have influenced the voting results. In 2014, DARPA launched the Metaphor program, which can detect falsified images and videos and identify their authors.