back to article US military gets authority to shoot down citizens' small drones

The US Army issued guidance to its formations a few months ago allowing it to shoot down consumer drones buzzing its units, according to reports. It is illegal to fly a consumer-grade drone within 400ft of a US Army base in April, the US Department of Defence stressed this week. Larger drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles, as …

  1. Anonymous South African Coward Silver badge
    Trollface

    Good, use them (civilian drones) for target practice!

  2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Never mind drones around army bases, shoot them down around airport approaches.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      shoot them down around airport approaches

      If you have a safe way to do that, I suspect a fortune beckons!

      1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

        Eagles with laser beams .....

      2. jake Silver badge

        A safe way to do that? Can do.

        12 gauge Browning, modified choke, goose loads. Then apply the "three Ses" of country living, "Shoot, Shovel, Shutup". Just take 'em out, dispose of them, and don't make a big song and dance about it.

        Granted, this combo is only good for 80 or 90 yards ,,, but I rather suspect that that'll be all that's required. Once an airport gets the reputation of "here be where drones go to die" among the local operators, the fucking idiots will keep away in droves.

        Note that most airports world-wide are in otherwise unused, flat, low-lying wetlands ("swamps" by any other name), which is where people hunt water foul anyway. Airports also have a fairly wide buffer zone around them.There should be zero collateral damage.

        1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

          Re: A safe way to do that? Can do.

          It's largely worked at JFK for keeping the gulls under control so I imagine drones wouldn't be too different.

        2. Steve the Cynic

          Re: A safe way to do that? Can do.

          "flat, low-lying wetlands ("swamps" by any other name),"

          Marshes. Swamps are full of trees or other woody plants. (In fact, that's the main distinguishing feature of marshes and swamps. Swamps have trees and/or woody bushes, marshes don't.)

          Ref: My late wife studied wildlife biology, and she was very specific about this point. They are both wetlands (but so, by at least one definition, is a stretch of ocean), but swamps are, in effect, flooded woodlands, while marshes are flooded grasslands.

          See also the Unreliable Source's pages "Swamp" and "Marsh".

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: A safe way to do that? Can do.

            Fair enough, but they drain both marshes and swamps for airports ... and bogs, vernal wetlands and etc. I'll leave it at "mosquito infested wetlands" in the future, that should pretty much cover it.

    2. Pinlight

      Sounds like you don't actually fly drones. There are no-fly zones around almost every airport, and over some key areas. The motors on a drone in those areas won't even start up. So you have nothing to worry about. It's getting so there are so many no-fly zones that it's becoming more and more difficult to simply enjoy getting interesting photography without bumping into some regulation. As long as people fly responsibly, there is rarely a problem.

  3. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Anti-drone drone

    Does anyone sell and anti-drone drone yet? Does it drop string on the other drone's blades to bring it down or what?

  4. SkippyBing Silver badge

    'The Ministry of Defence told the BBC that it does not use DJI products – and then declined to comment further'

    Presumably because they realised they have no idea if someone's gone out and brought one as a 'good idea'.

  5. ida71u

    The Law's an Ass

    Strangely in the UK we hear about these things all the time. But having been a long time model aircraft enthusiast, the laws have been in place since radio control was invented to stop the illegal use of RC aircraft. Drones are RC aircraft & thus can NOT be flown anywhere you do NOT have explicit permission to do so. Thus all public places are off limits, as are any open spaces where you do not have the land owners permission etc etc.

    Shooting them down suits me, I'll get my shotgun, oh wait a mo maybe not I'd get arrested, but plod do nothing to the idiots with drones !

    1. Adam 52 Silver badge

      Re: The Law's an Ass

      The CAA disagrees. Or, more accurately, has issued a general licence.

      https://www.caa.co.uk/Consumers/Unmanned-aircraft/Recreational-drones/Permissions-and-exemptions-for-drone-flights/

      http://dronesafe.uk/drone-code/

    2. I3N
      Coat

      Re: The Law's an Ass

      So before reading me my rights,

      plod asks why do you think you can do that [response to flying 8 blade weedeater above me in blind corner of property at height lower than adjacent 1 floor building],

      I say "Uhh .... Internet"

      Get read rights, then request lawyer present, plod says we need to talk to "victim" first.

      No arrest, case disappears from plod incident online files,

      My alleged crime - TELLING pendejo if he flies that thing over me again, I will knock it down ... method ... rubber bands!!!

      1. Adam 52 Silver badge

        Re: The Law's an Ass

        My comprehension skills have failed me. What was the point you were making?

  6. TheElder

    Drones a problem?

    It should take a few milliseconds to destroy them with current laser weapons.

    LASERS

    In late 2014, for example, the US Navy showed that a ship-mounted laser-weapon system called LaWS could target small boats, such as those used by terrorists and pirates. That experimental weapon is currently installed on the USS Ponce, an amphibious support ship in the Gulf.

    I have been considering doing some drone work. I have a pilot's licence.

  7. Dave 32
    Pint

    Drone Slayer

    We already have the Drone Slayer in Kentucky:

    https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2017/03/judge-rules-in-favor-of-drone-slayer-dismisses-lawsuit-filed-by-pilot/

    It looks like Russian drones, though, are the preferred military drones:

    http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/latest-news/633311/russia-news-ukraine-vladimir-putin-ammo-dump-attack-drone-grenade-explosion-video-sanction

    Dave

    P.S. Can Skynet be far behind?

  8. TheElder

    For non readers:

    From Above link:

    Since 2012, the company has shown that ADAM can disable targets such as boats, drones and simulated small-calibre rockets from about 1.5 kilometres away. Although unwilling to disclose the price of ADAM — or whether anybody has bought one — Lockheed Martin says that it is now ready to provide the system to customers.

    The real question now is "Why is this in the news?"

  9. 101
    Happy

    Monkey see, monkey do....

    They are merely adopting my policy for my home. No problems so far.

  10. Phukov Andigh Bronze badge

    No worries here!

    I'm such a sh*tty pilot that I'll crash myself before the battery runs out. No need for ballistic assistance

    1. 101

      Re: No worries here!

      The little hobby drones are very hard to drive, tend to fly off on their own when out of range of the controller, crash into trees thus getting hung up and all the rest. The battery only lasts a few minutes. In short, they seldom live up to the hype.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No worries here!

        That does not stop the twonks from the former council estate near me having drone dodgems in the sky.

        One 'pilot' even has a tally of 'kills' painted on the side of his truck (Dodge RAM).

        The Polis just stand by watching. At least they ain't fighting their pit-bulls.

  11. Philip Stott

    Is it ok to buzz US military bases in months other than April?

    1. kain preacher Silver badge

      Sure , but they might buzz back. Some thing called puff the magic dragon.

      1. Joe User

        Puff, the Magic Dragon

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uKOrpyO0z48

        Puff's big brother

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_F809jKdD-E

  12. Banksy
    Coat

    Other months are ok?

    "It is illegal to fly a consumer-grade drone within 400ft of a US Army base in April"

  13. ckm5

    " It is illegal to fly a consumer-grade drone within 400ft of a US Army base in April"

    Only in April? Good thing it's August....

    Edit - Ninja'd apparently.... Twice even.

  14. Nunyabiznes Silver badge

    Forest fires

    I wish the US Forest Service could proactively shoot them down when working forest fires. Some drone operators apparently can't understand that having to wave off a dump plane when it is already in final approach is a tad dangerous for the crew.

    I'll leave it to the reader to find suitable videos of slurry dumps by aircraft on their video streaming service of choice.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Good. Drones are a menace, both the flying and the corporate varieties.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      How about tying the corporate ones to the flying ones and launching them towards the ocean?

    2. flyfisher111

      Add the government types to the mix.

  16. whoseyourdaddy

    How do I upvote for the perfect picture choice?

  17. I3N
    Pint

    Where's the boffin $$$ for ...

    An effective, directed LRAD ... put all those gyros in a tizzy long enough to overcome 1/2gt^2

    Those 8 antenna-sporting wifi routers now claim smart beam forming ...

  18. +dB

    250 sized racing quads

    Not that any of this bothers me in the slightest, as I don't fly near any such areas, but it would be interesting to see if their guns could hit a small, agile fast racing quadcopter, as those things really do move.

    I've been building these things well before flight control boards were a thing, started with a gyro controlled tricopter. :-)

    1. Dave 32
      Coat

      Re: 250 sized racing quads

      Why did I just have the mental picture form of a US Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II, with it's GAU-8 Avenger 30 mm gatling gun cannon loaded with rat-shot?

      Dave

      P.S. I'll get my coat. It's the one with the pockets full of tickets to a show like that.

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: 250 sized racing quads

      Small, agile, and fast? Do ducks count? Don't laugh too hard, a few species can hit 75 MPH (some say canvasbacks can hit 90+), turn on a dime, accelerate like stink, and are totally autonomous. I shoot them regularly, in season. It's not all that difficult.

      1. DailyLlama

        Re: 250 sized racing quads

        I used to bullseye Womp Rats in my T-16 back home...

  19. flyfisher111

    ".......illegal to fly a consumer-grade drone within 400ft of a US Army base in April........"

    Apparently OK during the other 11 months? Fire away.

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