Subscribe to Breaking News emails

You have successfully subscribed to the Breaking News email.

Subscribe today to be the first to to know about breaking news and special reports.

This $86M Surveillance Plane Was Over Budget, Never Flown

by Pete Williams /
Inspector General Michael Horowitz said that the drug surveillance airplane remains inoperable.Department of Justice

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

The federal government has spent more than $86 million on a drug surveillance airplane that is four times over budget and has yet to fly, according to a report issued Wednesday by the Justice Department's inspector general.

The plane was intended to be ready three years ago, at a projected cost of $22 million, specially equipped to conduct counter-drug operations in the skies over the combat environment of Afghanistan.

The Drug Enforcement Administration and the Defense Department are jointly responsible for the plane in their Global Discovery Program.

Watch: Inspector General Discuss Investigation

"We found that more than seven years after the aircraft was purchased for the program, it remains inoperable, resting on jacks in Delaware," said Inspector General Michael Horowitz.

DEA now plans to use the plane, once it's ready to fly, for operations in Central and South America and the Caribbean.

In a response to the report, DEA says it relied on the Defense Department to manage and oversee the project, as it had done in the past.

"Based on that previous experience, DEA had no indication that the Global Discovery modification would encounter the significant delays and problems that ultimately occurred," said Michael Stanfill of the agency's office of inspections.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
MORE FROM news

Have feedback?

How likely are you to recommend nbcnews.com to a friend or colleague?

0 = Very unlikely
10 = Very likely
Please select answer

Is your feedback about:

Please select answer

Thank you!

Your feedback has been sent out. Please enjoy more of our content.

We appreciate your help making nbcnews.com a better place.