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Tuesday
Oct162012

7. Attack drones require more boots on the ground. - via Foreign Policy

I remembered having a conversation with a friend a few months ago about this. That it actually takes more people to keep a drone in the air than a Fighter Jet... but I couldn't find my source. I'd still like to see the numbers compared, but still. Here is the quote.


Most unmanned aircraft flown by the U.S. military require not just a ground-based "pilot," but also a platoon of surveillance analysts (approximately 19 per drone), sensor operators, and a maintenance crew. Some 168 people are required to keep a Predator drone aloft -- and 180 for its larger cousin, the Reaper -- compared with roughly 100 people for an F-16 fighter jet. To keep up with the demand, the Air Force has trained more drone operators than pilots for the past two years. The upside is that,according to the Congressional Budget Office, drones "are usually less expensive than manned aircraft" ($15 million for a Global Hawk versus about $55 million for a new F-16), though costly sensors and excessive crashes can negate the difference

So that's that. Again, I'd like to see the prices of running each one really compared. Still, drones are scary.

More at Foreign Policy

 

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