Pentagon Wants More Drones in the Air Overseas

Pentagon Wants More Drones in the Air Overseas

The Pentagon wants to expand the number of drone flights it makes overseas in order to boost intelligence gathering, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Citing a senior defense official, the paper said additional flights would mean more coverage in areas like Ukraine, Iraq, Syria, the South China Sea, and North Africa. But more than just intelligence gathering, the move would also increase the number of deadly strikes, the Journal said.

To accomplish this, the Army, Special Operations Command, and government contractors would step in to assist the Air Force, which currently handles most U.S. drone flights.

In total, the government wants to expand the current number of daily flights from 61 to 90 by 2019, according to the Journal. The Army will likely take on about eight flights and contractors would pick up six by 2017.

Inside the U.S., the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is working on rules to allow drones for commercial use. The agency just announced that use of unmanned aircraft—legal and illegal—is on the rise, and they’re often intruding on important missions, like fighting fires. The news come only a month after the first agency-approved drone delivery was completed in southwest Virginia.