A TOP secret US weapon has baffled online users after being captured on Google Maps – but has since been scrubbed completely from the internet.

The prototype was caught docked at the Californian Port Hueneme naval base but has since been deleted and replaced with what social media users believe are “edited” boats.

The detailed satellite image had gone viral online

6

The detailed satellite image had gone viral onlineCredit: Google
Since the Manta Ray was spotted in the dock, it has since disappeared and replaced with boats

6

Since the Manta Ray was spotted in the dock, it has since disappeared and replaced with boatsCredit: Google

6

The drone, dubbed Manta Ray with its diamond-shaped bodies and wing-like fins, has cutting-edge sensors for underwater threat detection and hazard classification.

Until recently, engineers at defence company Northrop Grumman Corporation have kept their pioneering design top secret.

But the uncrewed underwater vehicle was unleashed into the waters for testing last month.

The aerospace firm describe the sub drone as an “extra-large glider that will operate long-duration, long-range and payload-capable undersea missions without need for on-site human logistics.”

Read more in world news

Its development is considered a major advancement for underwater drone technology.

The Manta Ray shows an extended range, long-term deployment and a diverse payload capacity.

Due to its modular design, it can be dismantled and transported in standard shipping containers – removing the need for dedicated port facilities.

It also has energy-saving functionalities, and is able to anchor onto the seabed and enter a hibernation mode when not involved in missions.

Most read in The Sun

If there were an urgent threat, the Manta Ray would be deployable quicker traditional subs.

It’s reported that Google Maps only updates its images every one to three years, suggesting the subs rapid disappearance was deliberate.

Users were left dumbfounded by the bizarre spotting and disappearance of the sub, with one comment reading: “it’s gone. They replaced it.”

Another said: “nothing there but it looks like the boats have the front under water … looks edited.”

One user slammed other comments, claiming the subs brief appearance was not an accident: “you honestly believe that the gov’t wouldn’t vet what satellite imagery is being used by US commercial interests like Google?

“They were surveilling all local domestic telephony before the internet was even around.

“If it’s there, it’s meant to be there.”

In light of the Manta Ray being out, rumours are swirling that the death drone is to be put to use, potentially in the Black Sea to help Ukraine’s defence.

It comes after embarrassing footage shows Putin’s only remaining missile in the Black Sea being destroyed in what is part of Ukraine’s ongoing campaign targeting the Russian Black Sea Fleet.

The prototype completed full-scale testing off the coast of Southern California last month

6

The prototype completed full-scale testing off the coast of Southern California last monthCredit: SWNS
The Manta Ray prototype uncrewed underwater vehicle (UUV) is designed for long-duration undersea missions

6

The Manta Ray prototype uncrewed underwater vehicle (UUV) is designed for long-duration undersea missionsCredit: SWNS
DARPA program manager Dr Kyle Woerner (right) talks with a member of the Northrop Grumman team while standing atop the Manta Ray

6

DARPA program manager Dr Kyle Woerner (right) talks with a member of the Northrop Grumman team while standing atop the Manta RayCredit: SWNS

Source: Sun

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

‘Symbolic’ $4.6B punishment against cartel that murdered Americans takes creative legal turn to become reality

Join Fox News for access to this content Plus special access to…

US and UK launch crackdown on Russian metals trade

Stay informed with free updates Simply sign up to the War in…

Awkward moment furious Tom Brady snaps at roast master Jeff Ross over Robert Kraft massage joke at Netflix roast with fans likening it to Will Smith’s Oscars slap: ‘Don’t say that s*** again’

Tom Brady willingly signed up for a roast and America’s ‘Roastmaster General’…

Watch — Biden Delivers Bleak Commencement Address: Black Men ‘Being Killed in the Street’

President Joe Biden delivered a bleak commencement address this weekend, characterizing America…