Military Bases Can Now Shoot Down Drones That Are Trespassing

Military Bases Can Now Shoot Down Drones That Are Trespassing

The Defense Department has released a set of guidelines for US military services and installations to address "unauthorized" activity of civilian unmanned aircraft systems near base facilities, DoD News reported Monday.

Among the dangers faced by the USA military, drones flown by hobbyists would probably not feature highly on the lists of most Americans.

Davis said Monday that he could not detail the "rules of engagement" for targeting drones, but he said they included steps such as "tracking, disabling or destroying" them depending on whether they are perceived to pose a threat.

"The increase of commercial and private drones in the United States has raised our concerns with regards to the safety and security of our installations, aviation safety and the safety of people", Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis said, quoted by Reuters.

Yet on Monday, the Pentagon gave 130 military bases across the country the green light to shoot down private and commercial drones.

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Davis said the military has always had the authority to defend the bases and troops, "but this I think makes it a little more solidified with what we're able to do, and it's been completely coordinated with the FAA".

The FAA restricted private and commercial drone activity near 133 United States military installations earlier this year.

The Pentagon said the new policy applies to 133 military facilities, presumably the same ones listed in April's announcement. That announcement didn't say anything about the military reserving the right to obliterate or intercept drones, however.

The military already has several options for downing drones, ranging from using traditional ammunition to obliterate unwanted aircrafts to relying on radio waves to commandeer them.

The FAA estimated the commercial drone fleet would grow from 42,000 at the end of 2016 to about 442,000 aircraft by 2021.

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