The U.S. Air Force is Ready to Try Disposable Drones – $2 Million Each


Click to enlargeKratos

❝ The U.S. Air Force’s latest unmanned aerial vehicle is small, stealthy and cheap enough to be essentially disposable. The Low-Cost Attritable Aircraft, or LCAA, could radically change the way the world’s leading air arm wages war.

The U.S. Defense Department revealed the first LCAA prototype as part of the annual DoD Lab Day, an official even highlighting the work of various military research institutions. A photo accompanying a Lab Day handout depicts an angular, jet-powered drone with a silvery paint job that could have radar-absorbing qualities…

❝ The idea behind the LCAA is to build lots of inexpensive drones and send them into combat without worrying about losing them. Not coincidentally, the prototype builder, Kratos, made its reputation building expendable target drones…

❝ …To be “attritable,” the LCAA must be cheap. The Air Force’s contract with Kratos requires that the LCAA cost no more than $3 million apiece for 99 copies and $2 million or less for batches of 100 or more drones…

Cheaper than building schools, supporting growth industries that aren’t dependent on killing furriners. If you only look at the cost of onesies.

❝ The LCAA program is potentially revolutionary for the Air Force. Hundreds or even thousands of the new drones could augment dwindling numbers of expensive manned warplanes that take decades to develop and field.

Yup. And if you believe the Pentagon is going to stop billion$ war projects going to their buddies at Boeing or Lockheed – I have a deal for you in a bridge connecting Brooklyn to Manhattan.

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