US Navy Plans Solely Refueling Mission for New Drone

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Drone - Sputnik International
The US Navy is planning to announce that its new unmanned drone will have only a refueling function, rather than serve in a surveillance or attack role, according to media reports.

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The new drone will be produced by the Unmanned Carrier-Launched Airborne Surveillance and Strike program with refueling as its primary role and strike capabilities would be put off to a future version of the aircraft, Defense One noted.

"Now it would seem a decision has been made between strike and recon. The winner? Aerial refueling. Enter the Carrier-Based Aerial-Refueling System, or CBARS," a Defense One journal report stated on Monday.

The Navy was expected to produce an aerial tanker based on aircraft carriers that could refuel other planes low on gasoline, the report explained. A compromise provision in the 2016 defense authorization act provided $350 million for the program, well over the Pentagon’s $135 million request.

"Defense Secretary Ash[ton] Carter could reveal the decision Tuesday morning when he’s to speak about the fiscal 2017 budget submission at the Economic Club in Washington. The budget itself is scheduled to be delivered to Congress on February 9."

Defense One delivers news, breaking analysis and ideas on the topics and trends that will define the future of US defense and national security produced by the National Journal Group.

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