Drones Represent New Terrorist Threat
New technology makes our lives easier and more exciting. But criminals and terrorists also like to take advantage of the latest innovations and drones have proved to be no exception.
Not so very long ago, a drone would have seemed like a highly futuristic device which would be beyond the budget of mere mortals, when such a thing became available. However, drones are now commonplace and relatively affordable. Drones are used for a variety of legitimate purposes but unfortunately they can also be used by terrorist organisations to carry out reconnaissance and perhaps to deliver explosives and poisons.
French Security Fears
In France, fears over security have been intensified because drones have been seen hovering over nuclear power stations, a military site and the Presidential Palace in Paris. Naturally, it is possible that there is an innocent explanation for some of these sightings, but the situation is worrying.
New legislation now restricts the flying of drones in urban areas but the French military wished to evolve a means of removing the unmanned aircraft from the sky. This can be difficult as there are many situations in which it is too dangerous to simply shoot them down. Jamming techniques are also being developed but may not always work.
The solution? Birds of prey!
Golden Eagles and Drone Capture
The French Air Force is training golden eagles to catch drones mid-flight when it is deemed that they represent a threat to national security. Incredibly, the birds’ training begins before they have even hatched as their eggs are placed on drones so that they can feed from them as young chicks. This feeding eventually conditions them to believe that the drones are a source of food. The eagles basically come to see the drones as prey and are rewarded with tasty morsels when they bring one down from the sky. Their training has also involved teaching them to search for the drones.
The Perfect Birds
The huge wingspans and powerful talons of the golden eagles enable them to tackle sizeable drones. The birds could be called upon to work during major events including international summits, conferences and the annual Bastille Day celebrations. As there have been several near misses involving drones at Charles de Gaule airport, there could be additional work for the birds to do which is not related to terrorist activity.
The French Air Force are not alone in using birds of prey in this way. Dutch police have also trained eagles to catch drones. Presumably terrorist organisations will now try to find ways to neutralise the operation of the birds.