Way more drones coming soon

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is expected to announce the government’s plans for a 30 percent increase in drones in a press conference today. The increase in unmanned flights falls in line with the Obama Administration’s strategy of slimming down troop numbers and its preference for special forces operations, like the one that killed Osama Bin Laden last year. Drones may be expensive to build, but once you get you get them to their destination, you don’t have to worry about food, shelter, or the GI Bill. Silly drones think they’re better than us. They never want to go to college.

From the Wall Street Journal:

The Air Force now operates 61 drone combat air patrols around the clock, with up to four drones in each patrol. Mr. Panetta's plan calls for the military to have enough drones to comfortably operate 65 combat air patrols constantly with the ability to temporarily surge to 85 combat air patrols, officials said.

And if you really want to cut down on costs, Northrop Grumman just released its design for the X-47B, a drone that doesn’t even need humans to control it. The L.A. Times reports: “The X-47B marks a paradigm shift in warfare, one that is likely to have far-reaching consequences. With the drone's ability to be flown autonomously by onboard computers, it could usher in an era when death and destruction can be dealt by machines operating semi-independently.” That’s it. The Transformers are coming. It’s over. Good night.

 

About the author

Marc Sanchez is the technical director and associate producer for Marketplace Tech Report where he is responsible for shaping the sound of the show.

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