TECH

The US Navy Has A New Drone And It's Massive

19/09/2014 11:53 BST | Updated 19/09/2014 23:59 BST

This is the Northrop Grumman MQ-4C Triton Unmanned Aircraft System, or Triton. It's the US Navy's replacement for its fleet of surveillance aircraft.

It's also massive, at over 14m in length and 131-feet wide it's one of the largest unmanned vehicles currently in development and they recently just flew it the entire length of North America.

Triton has been specifically designed to survey huge areas while still having the ability to fly quickly and maneuver out of any potentially dangerous situations.

triton drone

Capable of staying in the air for up to 24 hours, the Triton has a top speed of 375mph and can hit a ceiling of 60,000ft.

With its ability to fly over large distances and its increased size giving it more room for sensor equipment the hope is that Triton would be able to alleviate some of the problems encountered during the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.

With a 'Sense and Avoid' system, it would be able to practically fly itself with an advanced array of on-board sensors and data links allowing it to know where other planes are and thus avoid them if necessary.

The US Navy plans to start putting this fleet of airplane-sized drones into service from 2017 onwards.