Unmanned Aerial Vehicles:

DOD's Acquisition Efforts

T-NSIAD-97-138: Published: Apr 9, 1997. Publicly Released: Apr 9, 1997.

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Louis J. Rodrigues
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GAO discussed the Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) acquisition efforts that the Department of Defense (DOD) has undertaken over the past 15 years.

GAO noted that: (1) according to DOD, its objective in acquiring UAVs is to provide unmanned systems that will compliment its mix of manned and national reconnaissance assets; (2) however, its UAV acquisition efforts to date have been disappointing; (3) since Aquila began in 1979, of eight UAV programs, three have been terminated (Aquila, Hunter, and Medium Range), three remain in development (Outrider, Global Hawk, DarkStar), and one is now transitioning to low rate production (Predator); (4) only one of eight, Pioneer, has been fielded as an operational system; and (5) GAO estimates DOD has spent more than $2 billion for development and, or, procurement on these eight UAV programs over the past 18 years.

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