Skip to comments.Experts See No Logic in Air Force Mothballing New Global Hawks
Posted on 02/26/2012 11:16:43 PM PST by U-238
Buried in a long list of Pentagon budget proposals for the next five years is the Air Forces recommendation to retire a fleet of 18 brand-new Global Hawk Block 30 unmanned surveillance aircraft. Four of them havent even been delivered yet, and are already destined for the boneyard.
Air Force leaders have defended their decision, contending that the $67 million apiece Global Hawk has become too pricey, and that the Cold War era U-2 spy aircraft can still do the job. Further, they insist that axing the Block 30 version of the Global Hawk hardly means the end of the program, and several other models will be produced for the Air Force, the Navy and for foreign allies.
The termination of Global Hawk Block 30 is estimated to save the Air Force $2.5 billion over the next five years.
Although the Block 30 termination is a relatively trifling line item in the much bigger picture of Pentagon procurement decisions, experts are universally puzzled by the decision. Everyone gets that budgets are tight, but they still question the rationale.
Among the more mystifying questions: Why would the Air Force choose to retire a fleet of new aircraft at a time when its purported number-one equipment challenge is the aging of its fleet? How is it not a waste of taxpayer dollars to retire aircraft that are only a year or two old in which the United States invested at least a billion dollars? And how to explain that only 18 months ago Pentagon officials went to Capitol Hill and vehemently defended the aircraft as an essential weapon that Congress needed to fund even though it has huge cost overruns?
(Excerpt) Read more at nationaldefensemagazine.org ...
Now, if those contracts are modified, that's a whole different picture, but at the moment, the Air Force is playing hardball - the Global Hawks go to the boneyard if they're going to cost half a billion a year to operate.
A rare moment of sanity in Washington.
So you can operate all 18 Global Hawks for a year, and presumably pay a number of service folk to fly and maintain them, all for the price of one Solyndra?
Guess which employs more people?
They’ll do this so that they can then “unload” them to entities that will use them to keep an eye on us dangerous Tea Partiers.
I think it all comes down to the Air Force having lost a drone to Electronic countermeasures in Iran. A piloted vehicle would not have been downed in the same way.
Just my theory mind you, but it and the timing of these announcements make sense to me.
Francis Gary Powers approves.
Here’s the logic......
The Air Force is run by pilots. Drones don’t require pilots. Drones are busting up the pilot union in the Air Force. They must be destroyed.
It's Hegelian Dialectic.
The Goal - You want the whole US watched yet you know it isn't popular.
LEO's - We need drones to help us do our job.
USAF - We don't need these drones to do our job.
WH - We can put those drones to good use on the border so that taxpayer dollars aren't wasted.
Always couch it so it's always in the best interest of somebody. (it's for the children)
Then on to the next step towards reaching "The Goal" since you've got the ball moving in the direction you want.
Too simplistic in thinking, IMO. Drones can't fly bombers which is the USAF's main job.
No, drones do currently require rated pilots, and those pilots are pi$$ed as hell to be pulled out of a flying billet to be put into a drone pilot billet.
The USAF has begun a "drone pilot" school, but currently the vast majority of drone pilots are rated to fly the F-15, F-16, or other "real" aircraft.