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The Pentagon now boasts a fleet of approximately 7,500 drones, up from just 50 a decade ago. According to a congressional report, "manned aircraft have gone from 95% of all [Defense Department] aircraft in 2005 to 69% today." Over the next decade, the Pentagon expects the number of "multirole" drones -- ones that can both spy and strike -- to nearly quadruple, to 536. In 2011, the Teal Group consulting firm estimated that worldwide spending on unmanned aerial vehicles will nearly double over the next decade from $5.9 billion to $11.3 billion annually. In the future, drones are projected to: hover just behind infantry soldiers to watch their backs; carry airborne lasers to intercept ballistic missiles; perform aerial refueling; and conduct long-range strategic bombing missions. Given that drones will become cheaper, smaller, faster, stealthier, more lethal, and more autonomous, it is harder to imagine what they won't do than what they will. Whatever limits drones face will be imposed by us humans -- not technology.
7. Attack drones require more boots on the ground. 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.
But Mike Kolier, for one, is worried about implications we may have not even fully considered yet. Celebrities are the first mark, likely by paparazzi drones, but there may be all kinds of issues for the rest of us, privacy and otherwise. “The idea of citizens having their own ‘personal drone’ to ‘keep an eye on things’ is to me a sure sign that the apocalypse is nearly here,” he writes.
Originally posted by Rexamus
What does it cost to get my own personal protection drone?
According to the CBP Inspector General, the costs of operating a UAV are more than double the costs of operating a manned aircraft.
Originally posted by Silcone Synapse
reply to post by Jason88
Interesting points-Although technically the first drones were used by Hitler to attack London.
Check out this drone -Taranis,by BAE systems.
That drone can determine and discriminate its own ground targets-USING SOFTWARE.
It can stay airbourne for days,fly itself,collect data itself and probably fire missiles itself(although they say this will have to be given the nod from a human).
Bit too "skynet" for me I think..