The obvious questions, apart from how easy it is to shoot these down, is not being asked: how many deeply-qualified humans could be fielded for the same amount? The obsession with technology continues….and the Air Force has still not solved the triple-whammy of drones: 1) the reality that pilots are cheaper than bandwidth; 2) Gorgon Stare's 50 video channels require 150 individuals (three watches of 50 each) to monitor; and 3) we are still firing very expensive munitions at people whose suspicious activity is squatting to defacate by the side of aroad.
WIRED Magazine, 6 July 2011
How many giant experimental spy blimps does the military need over Afghanistan, exactly?
That’s one of many questions the Senate Armed Services Committee is asking after an intramilitary battle has erupted over what many expect to be the future of aerial surveillance. The Army and the Air Force each have their own football field-sized airships in the works; the Senate panel wants to know why it should pay for both — especially as the Air Force seems fickle about its model and keeps changing the spy sensors on board. Legislators are asking: What gives?