The Coast Guard Compass has a post on the Coast Guard’s investigation of possible future procurement of land based long-range and ultra-long endurance unmanned aircraft systems (LR/ULE UAS).
The Air Force has recently decided to retire all their MQ-1 Predator UAVs replacing them with the MQ-9 Reaper. Perhaps we could get a near term interim capability and gain valuable experience by taking over some of the Air Force Predators and modifying them for a Maritime role..
Apparently some of the 100 serviceable drones are to be transferred to the Navy.
There is also reference to a maritime surveillance synthetic aperture radar that will work as payload for the Predator drone.
Unlike a transfer to Customs and Border Protection or other purely law enforcement agency a transfer to the Coast Guard would not require de-militarization.
Is for the Fleet or the Corps? Marines have expressed a desire for an organic medium altitude/armed UAS capability. The Predators could be paired with the existing RQ-7 Shadows, or freeing the Shadows for another application. For example moving the Shadows to the Cobra squadrons as Army is doing by pairing Shadows with Apaches.
In terms of this audience it would be more interesting if this was for the Fleet. I see the Navy paring the Predators with the upcoming MQ-4 Triton and P-8 Poseidon in a patrol role. Furthering the Navy’s embrace of multi-level assets and not using the fine china for camping. This would seem to open up a possibility for the Coast Guard to partner with the Navy in terms of basing and infrastructure.
The Marines are replacing the Shadow with the Blackjack. http://www.marines.mil/News/News-Display/Article/1400840/marines-say-goodbye-to-the-shadow/
A lot of this is about the ship board unmanned air program, but I think the part dealing with the long ranged land based program is more interesting. https://www.defensemedianetwork.com/stories/coast-guard-unmanned-aircraft-program-update/?utm_source=Defense+Media+Network&utm_campaign=2fa90c78fd-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2018_04_05&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e22f67483f-2fa90c78fd-146768573&mc_cid=2fa90c78fd&mc_eid=81ef5cc2b4
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The Navy just bought a couple of used MQ-9 Reapers. https://www.c4isrnet.com/unmanned/2020/06/24/navy-buys-two-used-mq-9a-reapers/