Former AG Bill Barr Joins Military Drone Maker Dzyne as Advisor

Estimated read time 3 min read

According to a recent report from Axios, Bill Barr, the former U.S. Attorney General, has taken on an advisory role with military drone manufacturer Dzyne. This move comes after Dzyne’s acquisition of defense tech company High Point Aerotechnologies.

The Age of Drones

Barr’s involvement with Dzyne reflects the growing importance of Drone Technology in both military and civilian applications. In an interview with Axios, Barr stated, “I think it’s going to be a very dynamic area, where offense and defense are constantly jockeying for position.” He also noted that drones are “a cost-effective way of covering a big area and coordinating enforcement response.”

Dzyne’s Drone Capabilities

Dzyne has been supplying hardware and software to the U.S. military for years. Their flagship product, the Unmanned Long-endurance Tactical Reconnaissance Aircraft, boasts impressive capabilities. With a flight time of over three days and a surveillance range of hundreds of miles, this drone comes with a price tag in the millions of dollars, varying based on payload and mission requirements. The company also produces other defense technologies, such as the Dronebuster handheld jammer.

Trump Administration Alumni at Dzyne

Barr isn’t the only former Trump administration official to join Dzyne. The company has attracted several other high-profile individuals. Chris Miller, former acting Secretary of Defense, now serves as Chief Strategy Officer. Marshall Billingslea, former special presidential envoy for arms control, has taken on a role as a special adviser. Joe Francescon, a former counterterrorism expert on the National Security Council, is now Chief of Government Affairs.

Increasing Demand for Autonomous Technologies

The global AI race and lessons from the Russia-Ukraine war have driven up government demand for autonomous technologies. Drones have a wide range of applications, including border security, counter-narcotics operations, battlefield surveillance, and tank busting.

Competitive Landscape

Dzyne sees itself competing with other prominent players in the defense tech industry, including Anduril Industries (backed by Andreessen Horowitz), Aerovironment, and General Atomics. The acquisition of High Point Aerotechnologies, which closed in April for an undisclosed sum, is part of a broader surge in M&A deals in the U.S. this year.

DroneXL’s Take

The involvement of high-profile figures like Bill Barr in the Drone Industry underscores the growing importance of unmanned aerial systems in both military and civilian applications. As drone technology continues to advance, we can expect to see more innovative uses and increased integration into various sectors.

The capabilities of Dzyne’s long-endurance reconnaissance aircraft demonstrate the impressive strides being made in drone technology. With flight times exceeding three days and extensive surveillance ranges, these drones have the potential to revolutionize military intelligence gathering and border security operations.

As the drone industry continues to evolve, it will be crucial to balance the benefits of this technology with ethical considerations and privacy concerns. The involvement of experienced policymakers like Barr could help navigate these complex issues as the industry moves forward.

Photo courtesy of Dzyne.

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