The Defense Department is seeking $2.45 billion in fiscal year 2015 funds for unmanned aerial vehicle acquisition and research, 15.8 percent greater than the fiscal 2014 UAV budget, Military & Aerospace Electronics reported Sunday.
John Keller writes the U.S. military plans to procure both the Northrop Grumman-built RQ-4 Global Hawk aircraft for imagery and signals intelligence gathering and the MQ-4 Triton maritime surveillance vehicle for $855.79 million combined.
The Pentagon has also proposed $607.1 million in funding to purchase 12 General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper aircraft and 12 ground control stations, as well as $270.1 million in MQ-1 Predator spending for FY 2015, according to the report.
DoD also wants to spend $403 million on the Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike, a U.S. Navy program to launch a UAVs from a carrier that has a scheduled draft request for proposal release for later this year, Keller reports.
Keller writes military officials have also requested $145.2 million in funding for the RQ-7 shadow UAV, $96.7 million for the MQ-8 Fire Scout unmanned helicopter, $17.7 million for the RQ-11 Raven and $14.5 million for the Boeing-built Insitu RQ-21 Blackjack integrated with small tactical UAS.
Proposed spending for future UAV research and development totals $35.9 million for FY 2015 and $2 million for UAV sensors and payloads, Military & Aerospace Electronics reports.