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Report indicates US border drones are overly expensive, ineffective

Unmanned drone flights along the US-Mexico border cost too much and the program is being mismanaged, according to a recent Homeland Security report

Michael Hatamoto | Jan 8, 2015 at 02:03 pm CST (0 mins, 48 secs reading time)

It looks like the US government has shiny toys, and defense contractors are getting paid, but border drones cost $12,255 per hour to operate - and aren't very effective in detecting human smuggling or drug running.

Report indicates US border drones are overly expensive, ineffective | TweakTown.com

The DHS has a fleet of 10 Predator B drones that are used to patrol selected locations of the US-Mexico border in Arizona and Texas, however, they logged just 5,102 hours of the planned 23,296 total flight hours per year. The DHS has invested $360 million into the program since 2005, and the department wants to spend upwards of $443 million for another 14 drones.

"Notwithstanding the significant investment, we see no evidence that the drones contribute to a more secure border, and there is no reason to invest additional taxpayer funds at this time," said John Roth, inspector general for the Department of Homeland Security, in a statement.

However, a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) spokesman defended the program, saying it has achieved or exceeded all relevant performance expectations."

Last updated: Apr 6, 2020 at 08:46 pm CDT

Michael Hatamoto

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Michael Hatamoto

An experienced tech journalist and marketing specialist, Michael joins TweakTown looking to cover everything from consumer electronics to enterprise cloud technology. A former Staff Writer at DailyTech, Michael is now the West Coast News Editor and will contribute news stories on a daily basis. In addition to contributing here, Michael also runs his own tech blog, AlamedaTech.com, while he looks to remain busy in the tech world.

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