The business of drones, the unmanned aircraft which can either spy or attack, is projected to be a $7bn industry next year. This is not much in the $1.6tn big picture of military spending, but it is the economics that has the world's biggest defence spender interested. In harsh economic times, drones make sense.

To keep one 24-hour reconnaissance mission in the air would take eight traditional manned planes, as many as 15 pilots, and about 96 mechanics; but the same mission using drones would need just three aircrafts, with four pilots on the ground and just 35 mechanics.

On this episode of Counting the Cost, we take a detailed look at the cost of defence spending on drones and exactly what else a drone is capable of.  

Also on the show, a focus on Italy, to look at how some eurozone nations are sorting out their austerity measures.

The story goes that back in 1965, 30-year-old Luciano Benetton saw a market for the brand's now-famous colourful clothing, and sold his younger brother's bicycle to buy a second-hand knitting machine to get the business going.

Luciano's company, the Benetton Group, now turns over around 2 billion euro per year. His son, Alessandro Benetton, now the executive deputy chairman of the Benetton Group, joins Counting the Cost to discuss doing business during a Europe-wide slowdown.

And, an interview with James Caan, the well-known British entrepreneur, as we continue looking for answers in this stagnant business world.

 

Counting the Cost can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Friday: 2230; Saturday: 0930; Sunday: 0330; Monday: 1630.

Click here for more on Counting the Cost.

Source: Al Jazeera