And so it begins.
This week, the Pentagon unveiled its first-draft attempt at reconciling itself to a constrained defense budget, snipping about 5.5% off its initial wish list and requesting $523 billion in funding for fiscal 2013. Planned cuts include everything from delaying orders for a new aircraft carrier from Huntington Ingalls
So how does America do more with less? In part, by shifting defense dollars from high-cost manned weapons programs to lower-cost robotic ones.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Marine Corps announced a plan to weaponize more Textron
The problem, of course, is that measuring just 11 feet from nose to tail, and with a wingspan of just 14 feet, the Shadow isn't much bigger than many missiles in the Pentagon's arsenal. It's far too small to carry most conventional munitions.
Solution: Build smaller bombs.
The Pentagon has already tasked Alliant Techsystems
Not just with the Marines, either. The Army and Navy also use unmanned, unarmed drones at present. But proof that the Shadow can be weaponized could result in greater use of drones in armed operations -- and potentially, greater savings over manned weapons systems for the U.S. taxpayer.