The news: The United States Navy is getting a really big drone. I mean this thing is truly enormous — with a 130-foot wingspan, it's the size of Boeing 757 commercial airplane.
Named Triton, the new drone proves that the Navy isn't messing around when it comes to unmanned aircraft systems. According to Wired, the Triton drone can capture a "360-degree view at a radius of over 2,000 nautical miles." It's been tested for flights over nine hours, but Triton's manufacturer says it can go even longer, up to 24 hours.
Take a look at this bad boy in action:
The backstory: The U.S. military has, apparently, gone drone-crazy. In December, the Navy announced that it had completed a successful launch of a drone from a submerged submarine. And later in the month, the Army unveiled its new anti-drone laser defense system, meaning it can shoot drones out of the sky with a freaking laser beam.
Whether it's building its own high-tech drones that can be launched from anywhere or making sure it can take out any other country's drones, the U.S. military is on it.
This is the future of military technology. The U.S. is spending billions of dollars on research and development for new drone systems — including more than $1 billion for a batch of Triton drones. While we're still a few years off from seeing all of this drone technology in action (the Tritons aren't set to be fully operational until 2017), we keep getting glimpses of where exactly military operations are headed. And it's becoming more and more clear that that means unmanned aircraft, even if it's the size of a commercial jet.