Military Battles for Drone Control

Branches vie with each other for high-tech craft
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 20, 2007 1:45 AM CDT
Two visitors chat next to the RQ4 Block20 Global Hawk, a Northrop Grumman American company made, high altitude unmanned aerial reconnaissance system, designed to provide military field commanders with...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – New enemies are hovering over America's unmanned drone aircraft—branches of the US armed forces battling each other for control of the high-tech flyers. The Air Force is lobbying Congress for exclusive control over purchasing and developing the spy planes, a move opposed by the Army, Navy and Marines. 

Air Force generals want to streamline development to avoid duplication and contain costs, and to centralize control of the drones at its Nevada base. But others argue that competition between the branches of the military will spur innovation, and Army officials insist that centralization will reduce responsiveness. The House has ordered a panel to examine the status of the drones.