US Military to increase drone flights by half by 2019 31708152

Defence & Security News - United States
US Military to increase drone flights by half by 2019
The US Department of Defense will expand its drone flights by half to 90 a day over the next four years to provide military chiefs with more intelligence and greater firepower, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday, citing a senior defense official.
US Air Force MQ-1 Predator

According to the official, the number of drone flights will increase by 50 percent to broaden surveillance in Ukraine, Iraq, Syria, the South China Sea and North Africa.

The plan also envisages growing the capacity for lethal airstrikes by unmanned aircraft, the newspaper said.

Data collected by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism shows that US drones strikes have killed almost 5,000 people since the drone program was launched in 2009, including over 1,000 civilians.

US drone combat air patrols are currently carried out 61 times per day, providing real-time video to track and target militants, according to the newspaper.