The US Congress may subsidise the cost of building a replacement for the Lockheed Martin/Boeing Tier III Minus Darkstar unmanned air vehicle destroyed on its second flight on 22 April, says US Air Force Gen Kenneth Israel, who heads the Defense Airborne Reconnaissance Office (DARO).

Consideration for the additional funding comes as investigators continue to search for the cause of accident. The stealthy drone, one of four under construction, crashed on take-off at Dryden Flight Research Center, California, in April.

Israel has told the House Intelligence Committee that it would cost $16 million to build a fifth Darkstar. He says that another $10 million could be needed for software or hardware repairs resulting from the accident probe.

Source: Flight International