$72.8 million

— Turns out Winslow Wheeler was on the money in his recent drone opus here on Battleland. The Air Force has just released its probe into the August crash of a Global Hawk spy drone in Afghanistan. While the service could pinpoint no cause of the crash, it did have a cost for the destroyed drone: $72.8 million.

And remember: as Wheeler noted, drones costs tend to be higher than one might think because the cost of ground-controller units need to be added to their total pricetag. But in the case of this crash, we’re speaking of only a single flying unit. It wasn’t so long ago that you could by several manned aircraft for that much money. The Air Force denies that this is part of a sophisticated psy-ops campaign designed to convince Congress that manned aircraft are a bargain.

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