US Military Can Now Down Drones Flying Over US Bases

Trevor Jackson
Августа 9, 2017

The new policy was announced by the U.S. government yesterday, and it aims to enable military bases to protect themselves from the potential malicious presence (surveillance, etc) of drones operated in their airspace.

Drone enthusiasts take heed: If you don't want to see your precious drone blasted into a million pieces, keep clear of USA military installations.

The number of uncrewed aircraft in USA skies has zoomed in recent years and continues to increase rapidly - along with concern among US and private-sector officials that risky or even hostile drones could get too close to places like military bases, airports and sports stadiums. The full contents of the policy remain classified.

The policy itself is classified and was transmitted to the armed services in July.

The policy was announced by Pentagon spokesperson Navy Cpt Jeff Davis during a press gaggle this morning.

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Pentagon officials say the private or commercial drones could also be seized. This policy comes with its own rules; only drones that are over military bases and that are a possible threat can be taken down.

The Air Force, for example, maintains its arsenal Minuteman III nuclear intercontinental ballistic missiles in 150 underground silos in vast fields around Minot Air Force Base, North Dakota. As it stands, the FAA bans operating drones over these military bases, though sometimes this happens for reasons other than ill-intent - namely, operators not realizing they've gravitated into a protected airspace.

Drones have rapidly grown in popularity in the United States, and the FAA in March estimated the market would grow from about 1.1 million small personal drones in 2016 to more than 3.5 million by 2021.

In April, flights of almost all drones over 133 US military facilities were banned due to security concerns. That announcement didn't say anything about the military reserving the right to obliterate or intercept drones, however. Until now, the use of civilian or commercial drones over no-fly zones only resulted in fines and/or jail time.

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