Nuevo León's new high-tech drone. Nuevo León's new high-tech drone.

Security chief questioned over 54-million-peso drone purchase

High cost attributed to its advanced technology

Nuevo León’s security secretary says the high cost of a new drone purchased by the state is due to its advanced intelligence technology.

Aldo Fasci faced criticism from legislators, security experts and the public this week for spending 54 million pesos (US $2.8 million) on the unmanned aircraft. He said its intelligence technology accounted for most of the cost.

He explained that the drone, which measures a little more than three meters long, has a top speed of 120 kilometers per hour, can fly at an altitude of 1,000 meters and can remain airborne for up to 12 hours, will be used on special search missions.

The newspaper Reforma reported that the cost of the aircraft exceeded that of the state’s Bell 412EP helicopter, known as the “VIP” because of the craft’s luxury furnishings, installed by former governor Natividad González Parás.

“The helicopter was a transportation issue; this is one of intelligence,” Fasci said, but refused to defend the purchase until the drone’s technical specifications are made public.

He said the government will soon release some technical information about the plane and its intelligence equipment, but many details will remain confidential.

“We can’t give details about the type of technologies used [in the drone’s construction] since they require both international and federal authorization . . . These things are built under strict confidentiality.”

The Mexican-designed drone is a UAV-MX1 built by Unmanned Systems Technology International in Apodaca, Nuevo León.

Source: Reforma (sp), SDP Noticias (sp)

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