Warplanes: The Global-Hawk-Lite Competition

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July 27, 2006: The Predator C UAV, a larger, jet powered version of the five ton Predator B, has been delayed in development. It was supposed to start flight tests by the end of 2006, but that has been pushed into 2007. The Predator B costs about seven million dollars each, and the Predator C is expected to weigh twice as much, and cost three times as much. But that will still be less than half the cost of a 13 ton Global Hawk. The Predator C is expected to deliver about 85 percent of the performance of the Global Hawk. To compete with this, there is a "Global Hawk Lite" in development. The Predator C is designed to fly high (up to 60,000 feet) and cross oceans. Most of the cost of these "strategic UAVs" is in the space satellite grade sensors.

 


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