The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) was established in 1958 to prevent strategic surprise from negatively impacting U.S. national security and create strategic surprise for U.S. adversaries by maintaining the technological superiority of the U.S. military.

To fulfill its mission, the Agency relies on diverse performers to apply multi-disciplinary approaches to both advance knowledge through basic research and create innovative technologies that address current practical problems through applied research. DARPA’s scientific investigations span the gamut from laboratory efforts to the creation of full-scale technology demonstrations in the fields of biology, medicine, computer science, chemistry, physics, engineering, mathematics, material sciences, social sciences, neurosciences and more. As the DoD’s primary innovation engine, DARPA undertakes projects that are finite in duration but that create lasting revolutionary change.
Creating breakthrough technologies for national security is the mission of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). By making pivotal investments in new technology-driven ideas for the United States, DARPA imagines and makes possible new capabilities for overcoming the multifaceted threats and challenges that lie ahead. This makes a better, more secure future possible. In an uncertain world, with constrained budgets, providing these new capabilities is more important than ever.

Looking back, precision guidance and navigation, stealth, unmanned aerial vehicles, night vision, and communications and networking are among the technologies that changed the face of war over the last two decades. Many people and organizations worked to make these technologies a reality. In each case, DARPA made key early investments that changed what was possible and started a revolution in capability.

Today, DARPA is helping to build a future in which we can do extraordinary things. Fully control the electromagnetic spectrum for communications, sensing, and imaging. Provide precise and accurate position and timing that isn’t dangerously reliant on GPS. Wield cyber as a military capability with confidence in our own cybersecurity. Increase access to and through space by lowering its cost. Open new operational regimes with advanced platforms and weapons. To build a strong foundation for tomorrow’s military systems, we are catalyzing an advanced technology base in new areas of information technology, electronics, and materials science, as well as new technologies emerging from the biological sciences.