Drone warfare is getting more advanced all the time. The Predator and Reaper drones that are most commonly used get the job done, but General Atomics is making them even stronger with the Avenger jet-powered drone.
Unlike the previous drones that have been used by the United States, these $15 million drones are powered by a turbofan engine. This unmanned craft can fly at up to 500mph and reach altitudes of 50,000 feet for 18 hours at a time. This will be an important move once the American military starts scaling back its involvement, giving them a chance to carry out strikes from more remote bases in the area.
The US is scheduled to be out of Afghanistan by the end of 2014, making it important that they find the best way to use these now. The distance alone makes this a great new alternative, but it also comes with an increased wingspan and payload capability, allowing it to carry even larger weapons than its predecessors.
Drones aren’t going anywhere in the military, so to speak. Their ability to replace humans in combat will only continue and by adding in jet-powered drones to our arsenal we are ensuring that progress continues.