By now, you’ve probably heard of the spy satellite the US military has ordered to help its Afghan and Syrian forces with targeting and surveillance.
The spy satellite, codenamed Blackwater, was reportedly given to the US government for a total of $4.5 billion.
And while it might be difficult to fathom that US military leaders might want to keep a large number of such expensive spy satellites in their inventory, it’s clear that the US has long been considering the idea of using such equipment in support of its wars in Afghanistan, Syria and elsewhere.
And now that it has received the Blackwater-class spy satellite from the US Department of Defense, there are signs that it might soon be able to do just that.
According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, US officials have recently begun discussing the possibility of transferring the Blackfish-class, Predator-class drone aircraft that the Pentagon purchased in 2019 to the Navy.
The drone aircraft, according to the Journal, “will be used to provide information and imagery to the Air Force in support on its aerial surveillance mission in the Northern Arabian Sea.”
According to the paper, “a Pentagon official said the aircraft would be equipped with cameras, lasers, and other sensors to monitor and track targets, but the official said no precise specifications of the technology or mission of the drone were being discussed.”
The Navy, meanwhile, has indicated that it intends to “re-use Blackfish as a support asset in the Navy’s maritime surveillance operations.”
And in a recent statement, Blackwater’s US-based manufacturer, Lockheed Martin, said that it is “fully committed to providing Blackwater to the Naval Special Warfare Command (NSWC) for use in its unmanned, ground-based surveillance capabilities.”
As US military planners ponder what to do with such a massive array of spy drones, a possible future mission for Blackwater could be as a part of a Navy task force tasked with locating and capturing insurgent targets in the Arabian Sea.
In an interview with NPR, Navy Commander Mike Leppert told the network that the Navy is “looking at a range of possible missions” to support operations in the region.
And in the next few months, the Navy will also have the opportunity to use Blackwater drones for surveillance in the Persian Gulf, as well as in the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean.
While Blackwater has proven itself to be extremely effective at both intelligence gathering and targeting, there is one thing that makes the Blackstone-class drones that the U.S. military uses in its wars against insurgents all the more impressive: the fact that they’re made by a foreign manufacturer.
In this case, that’s China.
The Navy bought the Blackpool-class Blackwater drone for $4 billion in 2019, with a price tag of $1.5 trillion, according a recent report from the Wall Street News.
And the Blackshorn-class Predator- class drone aircraft are currently under construction.
The new Blackwater spy satellite The Navy ordered a Blackwater Blackfish spy satellite in 2019 for $3.4 billion, which is just shy of the $4 trillion price tag the US currently spends on surveillance drones.
The $4-billion price tag is a far cry from the billions spent on the drones that have been deployed to spy on Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The Pentagon has been looking at buying the Blackcraft-class of drones for some time.
The military has reportedly been considering purchasing at least four Blackcraft drones, as it seeks to replace its fleet of Blackhawk helicopters.
But the Black-class is the one that will ultimately be used for surveillance missions.
The Blackshorts-class Phantom is currently under development and is reportedly slated to enter service in 2020.
The aircraft will be equipped to monitor the skies in the Arctic and Antarctic, as the US Navy has also been exploring the idea for some years.
And since the Blackhawk is currently being built for the Navy, the Blackbird-class has also received the nod to provide surveillance over the Atlantic.
And even though the Blackbirds will be used in the Pacific Ocean, the US Air Force will also be able use Blackbirds to spy over the Persian and Indian oceans.
The US Air Forces Blackbirds are currently being developed for surveillance over parts of the Persian Sea, including the Strait of Hormuz, and the Indian and Arabian Sea, as they are expected to become operational in 2026.
And it’s also unclear how many Blackbirds the US will use in the future.
The Air Force has said that the Blackwaters-class will be able “to provide situational awareness” to the entire region and the entire world.
And that means that it will be capable of monitoring the entire globe.
While the Blackair-class and Blacksharts-class have been used in surveillance missions for the past few years, the Pentagon plans to expand the Blackblack-class into the Pacific.
The current Blackhawk drone is