By Josh Sweigart and Katie Wedell
The U.S. Air Force plans to spend $8.8 billion on possibly unnecessary attack drones, according to an inspector general’s report last week that claims the military didn’t properly assess how many MQ-9 Reaper aircraft it really needed before budgeting $76.8 billion to buy 401 of them.
The Department of Defense Office of Inspector General recommends further study of how many drones the Air Force needs. A review started in August, the report says.
Coincidentally, the watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense also last week released a report criticizing the Department of Defense for spending another $8 billion on the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, which has gone over budget on research and development by $39.1 billion.
In calling for an end to the costly F-35 production, Taxpayers for Common Sense points out other things that cost the U.S. government $8 billion or less:
- The Army Reserve
- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
- Military construction and family housing
- The National Science Foundation