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Coasts could be guarded by unmanned drone boats

The next frontier in unmanned vehicles isn't in the air — it's on the waves. The Piranha Unmanned Surface Vehicle could revolutionize ocean-based military operations drones have done for the skies.

The Piranha USV prototype, developed by Zyvex Marine, is a 54-foot long drone boat that costs an estimated $2 million, and weighs approximately 8,000 pounds — significantly lighter than conventional boats of a similar size. The low weight allows the Piranha to carry 15,000 pounds of cargo, nearly double its own weight, over 2,500 nautical miles. The efficient vessel also sips fuel, consuming only 12 gallons an hour when cruising at 24 knots. A conventional boat would suck down 50 gallons an hour moving at the same speed.

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