DHS to use drones off Florida's coasts

12/8/2009 | NYTimes.com

Following successful deployments along the U.S. borders with Mexico and Canada, the Department of Homeland Security plans to begin using unmanned aircraft for surveillance missions off the coast of Florida, where smuggling is common. On Monday, DHS showed off a new, $13.5 million maritime drone from General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, designed to give broader ocean views than any manned aircraft currently on patrol. "This is an extraordinary step forward," said Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, adding that the new drone, due for deployment in January, "will help us immeasurably."

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