Pentagon to increase drone flights

US Department of Defense planning to expand its drone programme by 50 percent over next four years

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

The Pentagon is planning to increase the use of drone flights over the next four years, in order to expand intelligence and strike capacities over the global hotspots, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The Pentagon detailed that number of daily flights, currently 61, will be increased to 90 by 2019, a senior Pentagon official said to the WSJ.

Drones that provide 24-hour surveillance are used when a manned flight is too risky. A trained crew that operates the system remotely is connected to the aircrafts that allow it to act on what it sees.

The US operated the unmanned aircrafts five times a day in 2004, however, the frequency of the system has been increased in time. Officials recently stated their will to obtain more intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance data.

The drone programme which is largely expanded under Obama administration had its last significant increase in 2011.

The programme is claimed to have killed at least 3,000 people, according to The Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

The expansion of the system carried out by US Air Force, will provide extra surveillance and capacity for lethal strikes and get assistance from the army, as well as Special Operations Command and government contractors.

With the increased drone flights, the US aims to gather more surveillance data in regions such as Iraq, Syria, Ukraine, South China Sea and North Africa.



TRTWorld and agencies