US Navy Unveils Unmanned Drone Squadron ‘The Magicians’
The US Navy has launched a squadron combining unmanned drones as well as manned aircraft, amid a national debate over the role of drones in warfare.
The Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 35, called the Magicians, is the first such unit.
It will have eight manned helicopters and 10 Fire Scout MQ-8B unmanned helicopters for tracking targets.
The Obama administration has expanded use of drones in counter-terrorism operations overseas.
At an inauguration ceremony at the Naval Air Station North Island at Coronado, California, Vice Adm David Buss said the new squadron “points toward the future for our naval aviation forces”.
“The actions today represent a clear line dividing what naval aviation once was and what it will be,” he said.