This is the Global Hawk, the super-high-flying spy drone that is supposed to replace the aging U-2. (Not the band, though Bono is aging.)
The New York Times had an interesting piece on the new $12 billion drone program this week. It notes that costs of the program have doubled in the past 10 years. Each one of these things, which can fly at 60,000 feet, now costs $218 million bucks.
It can fly for 24 hours and spot an enemy tank 100 miles away. That’s all great. But the article notes that the program raced forward to build these things before all the technology was ready. And that burned up millions.
That’s just the kind of contracting program that new Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter might take a hard long look at.