U.S. Military to Increase Use of Drones by 45% Under New Pentagon 30-Year Aviation Plan
April 13, 2012 10:28 AM
comment(s) - last by
More drones for the military
The Department of Defense has offered its new 30-year aviation plan that outlines the aircraft the military intends to use in a variety of military situations. One of the most interesting things in the report is that the Pentagon expects to significantly increase the number of drones in the military fleets.
The report shows that as of fiscal year 2013 the military has 445 drones including versions of the
RQ-4 Global Hawk
, MQ-9 Reaper, and
drones. By fiscal 2022, the military will have 645 drone or unmanned aircraft in its fleet. The Army also wants to purchase 164 Gray Eagle drones to provide direct support to ground forces according to Pentagon. That purchase is interesting because the USAF was forced to retire multiple A-10 ground support fighters, which will be replaced with the multirole F-35 Lightning II fighter.
The aviation plan mentions the Army will "continue to sustain [the MQ-1C Gray Eagle] and make incremental improvements to the airframe, payloads, ground control stations and other enablers to keep the Gray Eagle program of record relevant."
The document also notes that the Air Force was forced to divest 18 RQ-4 Block 30 aircraft and retain the U-2 due to budget constraints.
The military is placing an ever-increasing focus on unmanned drone aircraft in the new smaller and leaner fighting force the Pentagon wants. Drones are important because they don't put pilots in harm's way, and they can loiter over areas for an extended period. Drones are also typically much cheaper to develop and deploy than manned aircraft.
“The military departments adjusted their plans to comply with a constrained top line by procuring fewer aircraft than desired,” Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter wrote in a letter to the leaders of the U.S. House Armed Services Committee on April 4.
Between 2013 and 2022, the DOD intends to spend about $770 million on aviation assets alone. That price includes money spent for fighter jets, attack helicopters, long-range bombers, airlift aircraft, cargo, and several other aircraft types. The 30-year plan also shows that special operations will also be using an increasing number of drones.
This article is over a month old, voting and posting comments is disabled
RE: drones have only a limited role in our armed services' portfolio.
4/13/2012 2:10:24 PM
Not an aviator and I don't know much about planes but I do know that there are physical limits on the human body that drones don't have to worry about. I would think a drone could pull more aggressive maneuvers than any human pilot ever could. Maybe the technology isn't there yet?
"Death Is Very Likely The Single Best Invention Of Life" -- Steve Jobs
USAF Hopes U-2 to Global Hawk Transition Done in 2015
August 13, 2011, 1:28 PM
USAF Set to Take Delivery of Last Predator Drone
December 15, 2010, 10:06 AM
Creationists are Mad About Google Doodle Depicting Evolution
November 24, 2015, 8:48 PM
DHS and TSA: Whoops, We Missed That 73 Airport Employees May be Terrorists
November 19, 2015, 2:16 PM
Star Wars Spinoff Film "Rogue One", Theme Park Attractions Announced
August 17, 2015, 12:20 PM
SpaceX Falcon 9's Seventh Supply Mission to ISS Ends w/ Fiery Stage 1 Explosion
June 28, 2015, 1:10 PM
Cool Science Video: Glowing Millipede Prowls the Nevada Desert
May 18, 2015, 12:00 PM
Newly Discovered Costa Rican Glass Frog is Kermit's Doppelgänger
April 22, 2015, 11:26 AM
Most Popular Articles
Top 5 Smart Watches
July 21, 2016, 11:48 PM
Free Windows 10 offer ends July 29th, 2016: 10 Reasons to Upgrade Immediately
July 22, 2016, 9:19 PM
Latest Blog Posts
Sceptre Airs 27", 120 Hz. 1080p Monitor/HDTV w/ 5 ms Response Time for $220
Dec 3, 2014, 10:32 PM
Costco Gives Employees Thanksgiving Off; Wal-Mart Leads "Black Thursday" Charge
Oct 29, 2014, 9:57 PM
"Bear Selfies" Fad Could Turn Deadly, Warn Nevada Wildlife Officials
Oct 28, 2014, 12:00 PM
The Surface Mini That Was Never Released Gets "Hands On" Treatment
Sep 26, 2014, 8:22 AM
ISIS Imposes Ban on Teaching Evolution in Iraq
Sep 17, 2014, 5:22 PM
More Blog Posts
Copyright 2016 DailyTech LLC. -
Terms, Conditions & Privacy Information