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HomeWorldTop-secret US aquatic drone weapon ‘Manta Ray’ is spotted on Google Maps

Top-secret US aquatic drone weapon ‘Manta Ray’ is spotted on Google Maps

  • The satellite image currently remains visible to the public
  • The ship is docked at Port Hueneme Naval Base, California

A top-secret US submarine drone weapon called ‘Manta Ray’ was spotted by hawk-eyed online users on Google Earth on Sunday and remains visible to the public.

Satellite images of the ship docked at Port Hueneme Naval Base in California went viral on Sunday, before some social media users said the satellite images had been deleted and replaced with what people thought were doctored boats.

However, in its current form, satellite images of the ship can be seen on Google Earth.

The drone, named after the sea creature for its diamond-shaped body and wing-like fins, is used for underwater threat detection and was designed by Northrop Grumman Corporation.

The aerospace group has described the drone as an “extra-large glider that will perform long-duration, long-range and payload submarine missions without the need for on-site human logistics.”

The ship is docked at Port Hueneme Naval Base in California

The ship is docked at Port Hueneme Naval Base in California

The Manta Ray prototype completes full testing off the coast of Southern California.  The Manta Ray prototype unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) is designed for long-duration undersea missions

The Manta Ray prototype completes full testing off the coast of Southern California. The Manta Ray prototype unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV) is designed for long-duration undersea missions

Manufacturer Northrop Grumman says it completed full testing off the coast of Southern California in February and March.  Manta Ray was built through the U.S. Department of Defense's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) program

Manufacturer Northrop Grumman says it completed full testing off the coast of Southern California in February and March. Manta Ray was built through the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) program

It has a longer range, long-term deployment and a varied payload.

Northrop Grumman also says that due to its modular design, it can be disassembled and transported in standard shipping containers.

If there were an urgent threat, the ship could be deployed more quickly than traditional underwater ships.

Until recently, the groundbreaking design, which allowed it to remain underwater for extended periods of time, was kept secret.

But when the underwater craft was released into the sea for testing and captured on Google Earth this weekend, internet users quickly discovered the top-secret US drone weapon.

1719320068 93 Top secret US aquatic drone weapon Manta Ray is spotted on

Last week, Northrop Grumman revealed more details about its robotic ‘Manta Ray’ submarine in some newly released videos.

Last month, Northrop Grumman also announced that it had completed full testing in the water off the coast of Southern California in February and March of this year.

According to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, tests demonstrated “hydrodynamic performance at sea, including underwater operations utilizing all vehicle propulsion and steering modes: buoyancy, propellers and control surfaces.”

This includes footage of a guided tour of the first test dive and an overview of never-before-seen clips from the project.

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The ‘Manta Ray’ is part of a US Navy project to develop a new class of underwater drones capable of much longer missions.

With the underwater vehicle recently tested, questions have been raised about the rise of advanced naval drones in reshaping naval combat as Ukrainian forces have used smaller, more affordable technology to sink Russian ships.

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