Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Agency overview
FormedFebruary 7, 1958; 61 years ago (1958-02-07) (as ARPA)
HeadquartersArlington, Virginia, U.S.
Annual budget$3.427 billion (2019)[1]
Agency executives
  • Dr. Steven Walker, Director[2]
  • Dr. Peter Highnam, Deputy Director
Parent agencyDARPA.mil
DARPA's former headquarters in the Virginia Square neighborhood of Arlington. The agency is currently located in a new building at 675 North Randolph St.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is an agency of the United States Department of Defense responsible for the development of emerging technologies for use by the military.

Originally known as the Advanced Research Projects Agency (ARPA), the agency was created in February 1958 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in response to the Soviet launching of Sputnik 1 in 1957. By collaborating with academic, industry, and government partners, DARPA formulates and executes research and development projects to expand the frontiers of technology and science, often beyond immediate U.S. military requirements.[3]

DARPA-funded projects have provided significant technologies that influenced many non-military fields, such as computer networking and the basis for the modern Internet, and graphical user interfaces in information technology.

DARPA is independent of other military research and development and reports directly to senior Department of Defense management. DARPA has about 220 employees, of whom approximately 100 are in management.[4]

The name of the organization first changed from its founding name ARPA to DARPA in March 1972, briefly changing back to ARPA in February 1993, only to revert to DARPA in March 1996.[5]


Currently, their mission statement is "to make pivotal investments in breakthrough technologies for national security".[6] 

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