UAVs cornerstone of DOD's 30-year aviation plan

The Defense Department intends to increase its armed and long-range surveillance unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) by at least 45 percent over the next decade, reports Bloomberg News.

The U.S. military’s inventory of long-endurance UAVs will increase from 445 aircraft in fiscal 2013 to 645 aircraft by fiscal 2022, as the Pentagon builds out its fleet of RQ-4 Global Hawks, MQ-9 Reapers and MQ-1 Predators, according to a DOD report required by Congress, which outlines the department's aviation blueprint for the next 30 years, the story says.

The Army also plans to buy as many as 167 Gray Eagle UAVs between 2013 and 2022, the story says. The Gray Eagles will be used in direct support of ground forces, according to the report.

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