Tuesday, June 12, 2012
The Navy is investigating what caused a drone that was estimated to cost $175 million to crash during a test flight yesterday in Maryland, according to the Pentagon Channel.
As Home Post reported yesterday, the Navy was conducting a test flight of a Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Demonstrator (BAMS-D) drone when it crashed near Bloodworth Island in Dorchester County, Maryland.
Todd Harrison, a senior defense budget analyst at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, told U.S. News & World Report it could cost the Navy a pretty penny to replace the drone:
"The total acquisition cost of the planes is projected to average roughly $175 million each. To put it in perspective, that's about the cost of a brand new Boeing 787 [airliner]."
While Harrison calls the crashed drone a setback for the Navy, he says there may be a no-cost way to replace its lost UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle):
"The Navy may be able to get a new air frame from the Air Force at no charge—if the Air Force gets its way in its  budget request, they will be retiring more than a dozen relatively new Global Hawks."