— Grant Turnbull (@GrantTurnbull_) December 6, 2013
WASHINGTON (CBS DC) – A secret surveillance drone is under development by Northrop Grumman, reports Aviation Week.
The unmanned aircraft is still classified and is being tested at the notorious Area 51 in the Nevada desert.
There’s been no official word from either the Pentagon or Northrup, but Aviation Week says the drone is called the RQ-180 and will go into service in the Air Force in 2015.
The drone is equipped with stealth technology, advance radar, radio-frequency sensors and cameras, says the trade magazine.
It will likely also be used to carry out electronic warfare.
Based on public records and satellite image, Aviation Week estimates the top secret drone could have a wingspan of over 130 feet.
The current version, the RQ-170 which has a wingspan of 65-90 feet, has been in use since 2007 and one took part in the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden.