Detailed satellite image reveals secretive US naval drone

A new unmanned underwater vehicle prototype, known as the Manta Ray, was recently spotted docked at the Port Hueneme Naval Base in California.

A current Google Earth image of Port Hueneme shows the prototype, highlighting its readiness for tests and deployment.

The Manta Ray draws inspiration from its namesake, a fish with a diamond-shaped body and fins like wings.

This prototype is an extra-large glider capable of performing long-duration missions without the need for human support or on-board maintenance.

Its design allows it to anchor to the seabed and enter a low-power hibernation mode, conserving power when not in active use.

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency launched the Manta Ray program in 2020 to improve the design of underwater vehicles.

The program focuses on increasing load capacity and energy efficiency.

Northrop Grumman's Manta Ray prototype integrates several innovative features to create strategic surprise in underwater operations.

Key attributes include: autonomy, payload, energy efficiency, modularity.

The Manta Ray fits into five standard shipping containers, allowing for global transport and rapid deployment.

Its advanced capabilities are expected to enhance strategic maritime operations, offering a versatile and energy-efficient solution for extended underwater missions.

The Manta Ray's ability to operate autonomously and support different payload levels positions it as a valuable asset for future maritime operations.

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