A $3 billion national security plan being considered by the Abbott government could soon see Australia’s borders patrolled by giant drones.
If the decision goes ahead the aircrafts would be used for defence, asylum-seeker detection, monitoring of offshore oil and gas assets and act as an early warning system for bushfires.
The Defence Minister David Johnston, who is trying to convince the government that the benefits outweigh the cost, told The Australian: “As a maritime nation, a capability with this type of coverage must have our attention.”
The aircraft, known as MQ-4C Tritons, have 360 degree radar that can detect objects from 2000 nautical miles and fly at 55,000 feet but can swoop as low as 1000 feet during a mission.
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