Entries in Drone (2)


Navy Drone Crashes on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, $186 Million Burns

Goodshoot/Thinkstock(DORCHESTER, Md.) -- A U.S. Navy unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) valued at nearly $200 million crashed during a test flight Monday in an unpopulated marshy area of Maryland’s Eastern Shore.  No one was hurt in the crash nor was there any property damage, according to Navy officials.

Known as a Broad Area Maritime Surveillance Demonstrator (BAMS-D), the 44-foot-long drone crashed near Bloodsworth Island in Dorchester, Maryland about 22 miles east of the Patuxent Naval Air Station where it had taken off.   A Navy statement said the crash occurred at 12:11 p.m.

The BAMS-D is a testing version of a jet-powered high altitude aircraft, the Navy’s version of the Air Force’s RQ-4 Global Hawk, which is designed to provide long-term surveillance and reconnaissance. In a recent report, the Government Accountability Office estimated that the Navy’s batch of 70 BAMS cost $13 billion, more than $186 million each.

The U.S. Coast Guard had set up a safety perimeter around the scene shortly after the crash.  In its statement, the Navy said that “cleanup of the site is underway [and] Navy officials are investigating the cause of the crash.”

Aerial footage of the crash scene taken by local news affiliates showed fires still smoldering in the wreckage.  There was little visible that could identify that what had crashed was a UAV.

The aircraft was one of five aircraft acquired from the Air Force Global Hawk program.  The Navy statement said the UAV has been “developing tactics and doctrine for the employment of high-altitude unmanned patrol aircraft since November 2006. ”

The unmanned craft have been flown in the Middle East region to provide maritime surveillance. The Navy said the BAMS-D provides more than 50 percent of overhead maritime surveillance in the region and “has flown more than 5,500 combat hours in support of combat operations since 2008.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mexican Surveillance Drone Crashes in El Paso Backyard

File photo. Photo Courtesy - U.S. Air Force(EL PASO, Texas) -- An unmanned aerial drone owned by the Mexican government has crashed in an El Paso, Texas, backyard, prompting questions about how and why the surveillance aircraft entered U.S. airspace.

U.S. Border Patrol agents were the first to respond to the incident Tuesday after someone notified authorities of the crash, a Department of Homeland Security spokesman told ABC News. No one was injured.

Demetrio Guerra with the Border Patrol's El Paso unit declined to speculate on the drone's mission, but sources said it appeared likely the device was being used by Mexican authorities to monitor illegal drug trafficking and human smuggling across the border.

The Border Patrol declined to comment on the Mexicans' use of drones and whether the U.S. agency had been aware of their use.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is now leading the investigation into why the drone fell out of the sky.

Vincent Perez, spokesman for Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, former chief of the U.S. Border Patrol El Paso sector and chairman of the House Select Committee on Intelligence said he expects the NTSB and Department of Homeland Security to release additional details on the incident Friday.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio