Australia Declined to Buy Global Hawk in 2009

In March, 2009, Australia declined to purchase the long range Global Hawk drone from Northrop Grumman.

The drone might have been used for maritime patrol, or for monitoring bush fires.

At the time the cancellation was seen by some as a cheap cost cutting measure, though the Defence Minister defended the decision as over stretching the capacity of the armed forces.

In light of the Canadian cancellation of its military drone capability, perhaps the Australian action makes more sense. Having a drone programme creates the need for deployments that might not otherwise be undertaken. And when absolutely required, drone capability can be reacquired on short notice.

Many projects where drones would be useful can be carried out by smaller, cheaper drones.

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