The U.S. military wants to boost its drone presence by 50 percent in four years, and it’s hiring help — beginning with General Atomics, maker of the ubiquitous Predator and Reaper UAVs, which started flying missions in April.
Currently, Air Force crews fly 60 Predator and Reaper combat air patrols, where one CAP means keeping one aircraft in the air around the clock. The Pentagon wants to push that towards 90 by 2019, the Wall Street Journalreported Monday. With Air Force drone crews worn out by wartime operations, military leaders are turning to the Army, U.S. Special Operations Command — and the defense industry.
“Government contractors would be hired to fly older Predator drones on as many as 10 flights a day, none of them strike missions,” wrote WSJ reporter Gordon Lubold.
Read the full article at Defense One.