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Reply #11: Total cost per drone: $218 million. Fat profits for MIC. [View All]

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Divernan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Dec-04-11 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #2
11. Total cost per drone: $218 million. Fat profits for MIC.
Edited on Sun Dec-04-11 10:46 AM by Divernan
Why use drones instead of satellite suveillance? There are advantages, such as penetration of cloud cover/sand storms. But hey! every drone shot down has to be replaced - at a HUGE cost to us taxpayers and a HUGE profit for the manufacturer.

On edit: I mistakenly researched drone RQ-4. I've been googling like mad for costs for the RQ-170 and have only found reference to the "black budget", i.e, the billions which disappear each year into the portion of the Pentagon's budget which is not publicly reported. Anyone else able to find what the RQ-170 developmental costs/costs per drone are?

Here's what's available from Wikipedia re the earlier RQ-4:
The Northrop Grumman (formerly Ryan Aeronautical) RQ-4 Global Hawk (known as Tier II+ during development) is an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) used by the United States Air Force and Navy as a surveillance aircraft.

In role and operational design, the Global Hawk is similar to the Lockheed U-2, the venerable 1950s spy plane. It is a theater commander's asset to provide a broad overview and systematic target surveillance. For this purpose, the Global Hawk is able to provide high resolution Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR)that can penetrate cloud-cover and sandstorms and Electro-Optical/Infrared (EO/IR) imagery at long range with long loiter times over target areas. It can survey as much as 40,000 square miles (103,600 square kilometers) of terrain a day.

It is used as a high-altitude platform for surveillance and security. Missions for the Global Hawk cover the spectrum of intelligence collection capability to support forces in worldwide military operations. According to the Air Force, the capabilities of the aircraft allow more precise targeting of weapons and better protection of forces through superior surveillance capabilities.

The Global Hawk costs about US$35 million<3> (actual per-aircraft costs; with development costs also included, the per-aircraft cost rises to US$218 million each<4>).
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