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A secret US military drone appears on Google Maps

A secret US military drone appears on Google Maps

Image: Northrop Grumman

A secret US drone appears on Google Maps, revealing more than the military would like

The drone, nicknamed “Iron Beam,” is not exactly a US state secret, but the US military avoids revealing specific details about it, such as its dimensions. However, this has not been agreed with Google. The drone appeared on Google Maps, as reported by the New York Post, and the satellite image provides a sense of the scale of the military “beam” in the real world.

The secret US plane doesn’t look so secret on Google Maps

  • Appear on Google Maps: The military drone known as the Manta Ray (“Iron Ray”) appears in satellite images on Google Maps, docked at the Naval Base in Port Hueneme, California. These images reveal the size of the drone compared to common objects, such as ships and boats.
  • An unprecedented revelation: This is the first time the military drone has been seen outside of official demonstrations, providing a sense of its scale in a real-world context.
  • Development and capabilities: The Manta Ray was developed by DARPA in 2020, for long-range underwater operations, with the ability to “hibernate” on the seafloor in low-power mode.
  • stereotype: The drone is modular, making it easy to disassemble, repair and reconfigure according to mission needs. However, specific details such as the power source and weapons remain secret.

picture: The unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV), known as Manta Ray, is shown in a Google Maps image docked at Port Hueneme Naval Base in California.

A secret US drone, a manta ray, has docked at Port Hueneme Naval Base, California – Image: Google Maps

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A Railroad drone docked at the Naval Base in Port Hueneme, California (Image: Google Maps and Olhar Digital)

Although this is not the first time the drone has been seen in the real world, Northrop Grumman, the vehicle’s manufacturer, He even posted a 360-degree video of himself – This is the first time he appears surrounded by earthly items (ships, boats, roofs), which gives a better idea of ​​his size.

What is known about the American drone “Railroad”.

A manta ray submarine, shaped like a stingray, at sea
(Image: Disclosure)

So far, this is what is officially known about the Manta Ray (the English nickname for the drone):

  • The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) began development in 2020 to give the United States an advantage in long-range underwater operations;
  • The drone is designed to “hibernate” for long periods on the seabed, operating in low-power mode;
  • The UUV is also designed to be modular, allowing it to be easily dismantled and repaired – and possibly reconfigured, depending on mission needs;

Other details, such as the power source and weapons it may soon carry, remain secret. But Google is watching.