WHAT: A leaked report from the Pentagon’s Operational Test and Evaluation Office disclosed that the MQ-8B Fire Scout’s unmanned helicopter’s computer link to ground operators is so oversensitive that it frequently causes delayed or canceled flights.
HOW: An operator’s headset wire pressing down on the keyboard spacebar was enough to start a Fire Scout self-destruct sequence. Another Fire Scout lost computer contact for about 30 minutes and flew into restricted airspace over Washington, D.C.
WHY IT’S OUTRAGEOUS: The report concluded that the proposed $2.8 billion Fire Scout program might not be able to provide ground troops with time-sensitive intelligence. The Navy plans to buy 168 Fire Scouts and claims most of the bugs are now fixed.