Wednesday, Jun 3, 2015Wednesday, Jun 3, 2015

More than 400 US military drones lost in crashes: Report

Published on Jun 21, 2014 7:45 AM
A Scan Eagle drone sits on the deck of the USS Ponce, on Dec 6, 2013 in Manama, Bahrain. -- PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States has lost more than 400 military drones in major crashes worldwide since 2001, The Washington Post said on Friday in a report questioning the safety and reliability of the unmanned aircraft.

Citing 50,000 pages of accident investigation reports, the Post said military drones have since the 9/11 attacks "malfunctioned in myriad ways", including mechanical breakdowns, human error and foul weather.

"Military drones have slammed into homes, farms, runways, highways, waterways and, in one case, an Air Force C-130 Hercules transport plane in midair," it said.

Of the 418 known crashes between September 11, 2001 and the end of 2013, the Post said it had identified 194 so-called Class A crashes that resulted in either the total loss of a drone or damages in excess of US$2 million (S$2.5 million).

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!