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The Military Technology

U.S. Border Patrol Drone Goes Down, Rest of Fleet Grounded 138

Posted by Soulskill
from the in-the-event-of-a-water-landing dept.
coondoggie writes "The U.S. Customs and Border Protection service said today it has grounded its nine remaining unmanned aircraft after one of them was forced to ditch in the Pacific Ocean. The unmanned aircraft had an unknown mechanical failure while on patrol off the southern California coast. The crew determined that it wouldn't make it back to Sierra Vista, Arizona, 'and put the aircraft down in the water.' The drone cost about $12 million. 'The Predator B, also known as the MQ-9 Reaper in the U.S. Air Force, can fly as many as 27 hours and reach an altitude of 50,000 feet (15,240 meters), according to the website of Poway, California-based General Atomics. It has a wingspan of 66 feet (20 meters) and can carry more than 3,000 pounds (1,361 kilograms) of cameras, weapons or other payload, according to the company.'"
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U.S. Border Patrol Drone Goes Down, Rest of Fleet Grounded

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  • by flaming error (1041742) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @07:41PM (#46096187) Journal

    I know, it reads like that for me too. But if your UAV is going down, you ditch it the nearest place where it's unlikely to hit people.

  • Re:WTF? (Score:5, Informative)

    by timeOday (582209) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @08:40PM (#46096561)

    Why do we need such powerful military grade drones just to keep tabs on illegal aliens crossing our borders?

    The fact that it ditched in the water while patrolling off the southern coast is a good indication that it was not patrolling for illegal immigrants, but rather for drug smugglers. They are very sophisticated, using not only fast boats, but also submarines. And the pacific ocean is way too big to patrol with toy quadrocopters.

  • Re:Cost (Score:5, Informative)

    by femtobyte (710429) on Tuesday January 28, 2014 @11:31PM (#46097333)

    A large number of lives ruined by illicit drugs are ruined because the government spends a huge amount of money to ruin them. Stop spending money to throw people in jail over minor drug infractions, or money driving people away from getting help for their problems (for fear of jail), or money spent driving addicts to ever-more-harmful worst-case toxic concoctions, and those illicit drugs will ruin many fewer lives.

  • Re:Cost (Score:5, Informative)

    by SacredNaCl (545593) on Wednesday January 29, 2014 @12:52AM (#46097619) Journal

    A large number of lives ruined by illicit drugs are ruined because the government spends a huge amount of money to ruin them. Stop spending money to throw people in jail over minor drug infractions, or money driving people away from getting help for their problems (for fear of jail), or money spent driving addicts to ever-more-harmful worst-case toxic concoctions, and those illicit drugs will ruin many fewer lives.

    Probably far more lives are ruined due to their illegality than if we simply had stopped at the pure food and drug act, and left it at that.

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