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Defense Department, San Diego win big in appropriations bill

Air Force gets eight more drones than requested

MQ-1 Predator drone
MQ-1 Predator drone

The military is doing cartwheels over passage of the 2014 defense appropriations bill by Congress. More than $99 billion for procurement in the base and war sections has the Penteagon particularly pleased, according to the publication Defense News.

San Diego should be celebrating. The bill directs the Air Force to purchase 20 unmanned General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper aircraft with $349 million in funding; that is eight more drones than the Air Force had requested. The General Atomics division making the drones is based in San Diego.

Another $40 million will go toward transitioning six Air National Guard squadrons into split operations of MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper units by 2020.

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MQ-1 Predator drone
MQ-1 Predator drone

The military is doing cartwheels over passage of the 2014 defense appropriations bill by Congress. More than $99 billion for procurement in the base and war sections has the Penteagon particularly pleased, according to the publication Defense News.

San Diego should be celebrating. The bill directs the Air Force to purchase 20 unmanned General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper aircraft with $349 million in funding; that is eight more drones than the Air Force had requested. The General Atomics division making the drones is based in San Diego.

Another $40 million will go toward transitioning six Air National Guard squadrons into split operations of MQ-1 Predator and MQ-9 Reaper units by 2020.

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Comments
10

Could keep a couple at Camp Pendleton.

Jan. 20, 2014

shirleyberan: I don't know if drones are kept at Pendleton. What's significant is the two big drone makers are based in San Diego. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 20, 2014

Lots of live video from the drones on ku band

Jan. 20, 2014

Murphyjunk: Help! What's ku band? Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 20, 2014

Murphyjunk: The University of Kansas marching band is also called the KU Band. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 21, 2014

The Air Force already has 220 Predators and does not need any more. The Predator is worthless. In the event of a conflict with Russia or China, the Predator's signals would be jammed and the Predator could not fly. The money should be spent on maintaining the Air Force's existing fleet instead of buying useless equipment like the Predator.

Jan. 20, 2014

Burwell: Another alternative: the money could be spent on restoring cuts in food stamps. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 20, 2014

1) Tell the soliders alive today because of a predator that they're worthless 2) i think you'll find $350mil will get you a lot less than 20 planes for the existing fleet of manned aircraft 3) The signal denied air-sea battle scenario with china/russia is actually very difficult for most of the manned aircraft as well.

Jan. 23, 2014

kevincw02: I will let Burwell answer this one. Best, Don Bauder

Jan. 23, 2014

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