The Air Force risks spending about $8.8 billion on 46 MQ-9 Reaper drones that it may not need, the Pentagon’s inspector general said.
In a summary of a report posted late Wednesday, the IG said that officials did not receive appropriate approval for an increase in quantity. The Air Force also failed to perform a proper analysis to justify the amount needed, the report said.
In response, Air Force officials said that the data used by the IG was a year old. Instead of buying 401 Reapers, the figure cited in the IG report, the service is only buying 346 of them, Lt. Gen Robert Otto, the Air Force deputy chief of staff for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance said in an Air Force news service article.
“The MQ-9 Reaper is a success story,” Otto told the news service. “The soldiers and Marines love it. Combatant Commanders want more of it. We’re working hard to make more, as directed by the Secretary of Defense.”