I think they are a waste of money
. Seriously. Without a human onboard they can rarely get a positive ID on a target. Some AC130 specters would be a better choice. humans onboard and lots of guns
They drone operators can guess but do you want an armed drone guessing when you are about to be boarded? I sure don't. Personally I will not, for now anyway, go anywhere that I cannot take my m14 and 45. I'm not kidding either. Since I retired from the navy
and our government
has gotten rid of all of our ships that can do this mission I've just sat here watching on the news how the pirates get worse and worse. What I wouldn't give to be on my old frigate again out their busting them upside the heads with some 5 inch gun fire! I think we had 70 something knox class frigates then with not a lot to do other than law enforcement and pirate busting after the cold war ended. BRING THEM BACK! Or better yet. Bring back my second ship. The USS Iowa. Send that big old girl to the coast of Africa
and just let some pirates get stupid. Give her a full wartime loadout and have some target practice. NOONE has ever stood against an Iowa class and lived to talk about it.
Some international laws at least allowing firearms onboard boats or in a perfect world requiring it, would go a long way too.