Mark Thompson of Time's Battleland blog jokes that this can't possibly fit into the argument that drones are cheaper than their human counterparts, because:
– Anything labeled a “complex” is not cheap.
– Anything labeled using capital letters is not a bargain.
The plans include everything one might think a drone would need — runways, taxiways, storage, security systems, etc. Here are a few of the other notables from the Army's bid request (which, notable in and of itself, is pretty much classified):
Supporting facilities include extensive phasing of the site development with on-going contractor for the FY12 Phase IUAS Hangar Complex, utilities and connections, lighting, paving, parking, walks, curbs and gutters, storm drainage, information systems, landscaping and signage. Heating and air conditioning will be provided by self-contained systems.
It's like they're building Dronetown, USA — will this Drone Complex be a part of, or just next to the Military Industrial Complex?