SAN DIEGO (AP) — U.S. Customs and Border Protection on Monday took delivery of its first Predator aircraft drone to scan U.S. waters for smugglers.
The Predator B is expected to begin testing in early 2010 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Base in Florida and be used in the Caribbean to combat drug trafficking.
The plane has an enhanced radar system compared to the Predator B that has been used to combat drug smuggling and movement of illegal immigrants on land borders for four years. CBP operates three drones from Libby Army Airfield in Sierra Vista, Arizona, and two from Grand Forks Air Force Base in North Dakota.
Another Predator B for maritime use is expected at Cape Canaveral in January, said CBP spokesman Juan Munoz-Torres. The agency plans to eventually have 12 drones for land patrols and six for maritime patrols.
The planes can be disassembled and flown in C-130 cargo planes to other locations but it is unlikely that the first plane will be used in San Diego, Munoz-Torres said. The Southern California seas has been the site of a surge in illegal immigrant smuggling from Mexico.
The plane delivered Monday was made by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems Inc. in Palmdale, north of Los Angeles, for $13.5 million. Future deliveries are expected to cost $11 million to $12 million.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.
Britain's information commissioner says she is using all her legal powers to investigate Facebook and political campaign consultants Cambridge Analytica over the alleged misuse of millions of people's data.
Actress Chase Masterson is recognizable from hit shows like "Star Trek: Deep Space 9" and CW's "The Flash."
Crackle's 'The Oath' star Sean Bean left a markedly different impression on the 'Lord of the Rings' movie franchise than his acting counterparts.
'Black Panther' and '9-1-1' star Angela Bassett remembers the difficulty in shooting the dramatic fight scenes in Wakanda (AKA Atlanta).
'Tom v Time' star and 'The TB12 Method' author Tom Brady tells Stephen how to cope with losing a Super Bowl. (Not the Stephen will ever have to worry about that.)
Champion of the timesupnow.com movement Reese Witherspoon and U.S. Olympic medalist Adam Rippon combine talents to create the master class in 'Acting On Ice.'
'A Wrinkle In Time' star Oprah Winfrey gets some career advice from a slightly less famous figure: the Lord.
'She Persisted Around the World: 13 Women Who Changed History' author Chelsea Clinton had a very different First Daughter experience than Ivanka Trump.
Colbert had a monologue full of perfectly good tariff humor ready to go. Then former Trump aide Sam Nunberg got on TV.