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The Associated Press
SAN DIEGO -- Predator aircraft drones will soon be scanning U.S. waters for smugglers.
The U.S. Customs and Border Protection says it's buying two Predator B aircraft for sea patrols. The models to be rolled out Monday at the manufacturer's plant in Palmdale have radar sensors that can detect boats.
Agency officials say one will be tested in the Caribbean, with a base in Florida, but it could be used to aid patrols in the San Diego area.
Another will be based in Corpus Christi, Texas, for use in the Gulf of Mexico.
The remote-controlled drones will look for smugglers of drugs and illegal immigrants. A different Predator version is used for land patrols in Arizona and North Dakota.
Updated 8/6/2006 10:47 PM ET
• A Customs and Border Protection Predator B drone, which is as large as some commuter airliners, slammed to the ground within several hundred feet of homes in Arizona on April 25. Its ground operator accidentally shut off its engine, according to a preliminary federal incident report.
• A prototype of an Eagle Eye tilt-rotor plane being developed for the Coast Guard crashed during tests April 5 in Texas. The UAV, which weighs about 2,000 pounds and can hover like a helicopter, went down after an unidentified radio signal triggered a self-destruct mechanism that killed the engine, according to its builder, Bell Helicopter Textron.
Eagle Eye tilt-rotor plane
• The Federal Aviation Administration criticized the Los Angeles County sheriff for conducting a demonstration flight without permission June 16. The 3-pound drone, which carries video cameras, crashed in a media demonstration.
House lawmakers concerned about crashes of drones involving federal agencies have inserted language in homeland security funding legislation that demands reports on the accidents.
[edit on 7-12-2009 by tristar]
Originally posted by star in a jar
It's times like this that I'm seriously hoping for an apocalypse. There's way, way too much corruption in this world, too much power in the hands of meglomaniacs and lunatics, so much power that there is no turning back.
I hope the walls of Rome will come crumbling down soon. Soon or it will be too late for us.
We need serve nature, not these worthless, shadowy groups.
Originally posted by bagari
reply to post by ProtoplasmicTraveler
I can completely agree with you on that point. I think this is probably more of a cost-saving initiative, but I could be wrong.