DoI: Pentagon’s drones 8-14 times costlier, grossly ineffective

The Pentagon has spent roughly $18 million to test and identify drones that government agencies can use instead of those made or assembled in China. But how do these drones stack up against the competition? Not too well, according to an internal US government memo. The Pentagon-approved Blue sUAS drones are 8 to 14 times more expensive and only 20% as effective when it comes to vital conservation work, according to the Department of Interior (DoI).

In a seething memo sent to the incoming Biden administration in January, the DoI says that the Pentagon’s Blue sUAS program has reduced the department’s sensor capabilities by as much as 95%. The memo, which has been verified by the Financial Times, goes on to warn that the blue sUAS drones were 8 to 14 times more expensive than the aircraft the department was previously able to purchase.

From what we could find, the cheapest Blue sUAS drone with a controller starts from $7,800, while more sophisticated models can cost as…