The Defense Department is asking Congress to shift $641 million in intelligence and surveillance funds toward expanding use of a Boeing-built drone for Navy commandos in Afghanistan, Bloomberg reports.
According to Tony Capaccio’s report, $94.2 million would go to ground stations for Boeing’s ScanEagle drone, used to assist Afghan local police.
Six contractor-operated sites in Iraq would move to Afghanistan and Navy SEAL-operated ground stations would double to eight from four, according to the report.
The Navy used the drone to track a lifeboat off the coast of Somalia, where pirates held a ship captain hostage in April 2009.
Citing Navy officials, Capaccio reports the drones have flown more than 5,600 hours of reconnaissance since November 2008.
Insitu Inc., a Boeing subsidiary based in Bingen, Wash., builds the drone.