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DARPA Program Introduces Technologies for Drilling Tactical Tunnels in Battlefield; Andrew Nuss Quoted

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The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has finished a program that produced technologies for the rapid construction of logistics tunnel networks in denied environments.

Upon the completion of the Underminer program, the three participating teams transitioned matured capabilities that can dig tunnels for resupplying troops and rescuing personnel in a contested area to industry and government partners, the agency said Thursday.

The Colorado School of Mines, General Electric Research Center and Sandia National Laboratories introduced technologies involving fluid management, beacon-less drill localization and tunnel branching operations with a focus on diameter, distance, speed and accuracy.

“Tactical tunneling capabilities have tremendous opportunities to expand the combined arms maneuver trade space to include the vertical dimension in both natural and man-made subterranean environments,” explained Andrew Nuss, the Underminer program manager.

DARPA launched Underminer to help the Department of Defense utilize tunneling capabilities that are already present in the U.S. commercial market.