Google Maps users were fascinated after finding an unmanned combat aircraft previously used by the US Navy.

The Reddit user u/MoreNormalThanNormal shared an aerial shot of Airforce Plant 42 in Palmdale, California, claiming to have spotted ‘Skunkworks drones’, a type of unmanned craft.

But upon further investigation from fans of the subreddit r/aviation forum, the aircrafts were identified as Northrop Grumman X-47B aircraft.

The eagle-eyed fan said: “Those aren’t skunkworks drones. Those are on the Northrop pad (it’s labelled on the map). Looks like X-47 variants.”

The military planes located at 34.646581, -118.086412, are a demonstration unmanned combat aerial vehicle used by the US Navy for aircraft carrier-based operations.

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The US Navy’s Northrop Grumman X-47B is an unmanned combat air vehicle

These particular variants first took flight in 2011 and as of 2015, the two active aircrafts had successfully performed a series of land and carrier-based demonstrations and became museum exhibits.

However, this is not the only military aircraft to be spotted on Google Maps.

In December, a user posted the snaps of a grey arrow-shaped jet that looks as though it is moving so quickly it is blurred on the camera at the coordinates of 39°01’18.5″N, 93°35’40.5″E.

Fans of the application were quick to make the link between the aircraft over fields in the US to the current row between China and the US over Taiwan.

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Northrop Grumman X-47B
The two active Northrop Grumman X-47B are displayed at a Naval museum in the US

One user said: “This is the reason for the amount of satellite launches from China.”

Another added: “The US already operates its MiG-23s under the YF-113 designation; presumably, if we move them from testing into active service, they’ll become the F-113, heralding the glorious return of the Century Series. Also, being designated F-11X makes them stealthy.”

World War 3 fears have been mounting over the last year as China looks to claim sovereignty over Taiwan.

In the most recent developments, the US has allegedly been beaten by China to develop heat-seeking hypersonic missiles that are capable of hitting moving targets on land, water and in the air.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping
The US vowed to step in after Chinese President Xi Jinping threatened to take Taiwan by force

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The claim has been made by Chinese researchers and threatens to add heat to the ongoing competition between the superpowers to develop and stockpile the biggest and best weapons.

Back in August, China denied testing a hypersonic missile. However, a projectile is thought to have circled the Earth which the Americans fear was a missile test.

The Chinese meanwhile claim the launch was for a spacecraft.

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