A U.S. Navy drone crashed on Monday but this time it wasn’t in Iran, Iraq or some other middle eastern country but rather Salisbury, Maryland.
The RQ-4A Global Hawk drone was taking part in routine flight training from Naval Air Station Patuxent River when it experienced technical difficulties and crashed. According to officials no injuries were reported and the cause of the crash is currently being investigated.
The military drone crash landed in a tributary of the Nanticoke River and the crash site has been blocked off to recreational boat traffic as the U.S. Coast Guard and other agencies investigate the crash.
Immediately following the loss of contact with the unmanned aerial vehicle a piloted aircraft was dispatched to Maryland’s Eastern Shore where the wreckage was discovered.
The crash occurred at 12:11 p.m. nearly Bloodworth Island in Dorchester County.
The drone in question can fly for 30 hours without refueling at altitudes as high as 11 miles. The RQ-4A Global Hawk is used for reconnaissance and the crashed drone was one of five purchased for use by southern Maryland’s Naval Air Station Patuxent River.
The RQ-4A Global Hawk UAV was developed by Northrop-Grumman and is considered the most advanced drone in the U.S. military. The drone is 44 feet long and weighs 25,600 lbs.
Th crash won’t be cheap, a single RQ-4A Global Hawk UAV comes at a cost of $176 million.
Crashes are not common occurrences but do happen, when they occur overseas it is believed that foreign powers attempt to reverse engineer the aircraft for future use. The United States has the most advanced UAV’s in the world.