Pentagon Plans to Double Drone Flights by 2019 to Expand Surveillance

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After momentary calmness, the Pentagon has planned to double the number of U.S. drone flights by 2019. This increment would help military chiefs with an increased access to the intelligence while improving their firepower.

This bold step has raised concerns about the forthcoming military drone strikes.

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Currently, about sixty-one drone flights are directed by Pentagon that are used for remote surveillance of the developing regions. Because of this abundant growth, Pentagon would be able to gain more investigation data that would expand the overall capacity of the future Army programs.

Image Source: WSJ
Image Source: WSJ

The officials told The Wall Street Journal about their plans that the proposal for the intensification of the number of drone flights is in an attempt to extend the investigation surveillance capabilities in developing countries including Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, North Africa and the South China Sea.

Over the period of past decade, we have witnessed an upsurge in the demand for surveillance and intelligence missions. Since then the number of daily drone flights has been increased.

Since 2011, this increment is going to be the first noteworthy increase in the United States drone program, which reveals the intensity of pressure on the military to address an ever-increasing chain of global crises.

So far, drone strikes have been restricted to developing countries including Pakistan, Somalia, Afghanistan and Yemen. And based on the estimates by unbiased groups, these air strikes have killed more than 3,000 people.

According to the disclosed plans, Pentagon will expand the number of daily drone flights, from the current 61 a day to about 90 daily flights by the end of the year 2019.

Pentagon not only planned to expand the surveillance program, but also planned to develop their capacity for disastrous air strikes, which is one of the most debated programs by the United States working under the orders of the President Barack Obama.

Most of the drone flights operations are functioning under the U.S Air Force, which includes the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA) secret missions in Yemen and Pakistan. But it is said that the upcoming plans would be functioned under Special Operations Command (SOC) and U.S. Army.

Those new drones include MQ-1 Predator as well as the more enhanced MQ-9 Reaper, which offers intelligence data and capturing real-time videos and photos to help specialists in tracking, observing, and targeting the militants. These details could also be used to launch air strikes onto the targeted areas. 

According to The Wall Street Journal, the Pentagon has taken a combined effort in increasing the number of daily drone flights by 2019 in different phases. The U.S. Air Force would continue to fly 60 drones a day, the U.S. Army would fly about 16 drones, and the Special Forces Command (SFC) would fly 4 drones while about 10 Predator drones would be operated under the government contractors.

Officials have also planned to maximize the overall capability of drones by redirecting flights to other locations in case of emergencies.

In addition to all that, there has been no disclosure about the cost estimations for the plan.


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