The Hot Commodity—UAVs:

The Air Force has big plans for its unmanned aerial vehicle force. According to Maj. Gen. Frank Faykes, the Air Force 2007 budget proposal contains $752 million for procurement and RDT&E for six Global Hawk UAVs and three ground stations in 2007 and requests $64 million to procure another seven air vehicles in 2008. USAF plans to phase out its high-flying U-2 reconnaissance aircraft, as its Global Hawk RQ-4 fleet grows. Faykes said the service also would increase the size and capability of its Predator UAV fleet. The 2007 budget proposal includes $349 million to procure 24 additional MQ-1 Predator A model aircraft and two of the larger MQ-9 Predator B variants. USAF plans to establish three Air National Guard and one Air Force Special Operations Command Predator squadrons in 2007.