The US Military Can Now Shoot Down Consumer Drones

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The Pentagon has approved a new policy allowing military bases to shoot down private and commercial drones that are considered a threat.

A drone is flown for recreational purposes in the sky above Old Bethpage, New York on August 30, 2015.

The FAA restricted private and commercial drone activity near 133 U.S. military installations earlier this year. The military also has the right to capture and retain the drone if it so chooses, or to alternatively track it back to its operator. While conventional weapons could be used to shoot down a drone, other countermeasures include non-kinetic methods like the use of radio waves to disrupt drone flight. "Protecting our forces remains our top priority". And now, civilians don't need to register their drones with the USA government.

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

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Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said the latest guidance, developed with the Federal Aviation Administration, lays out how the Defense Department will work with local communities regarding UAS restrictions on and near military facilities.

What Caused the U.S. Army to Create This New Policy?

The number of small, hobbyist drones in operation will likely increase from about 1.1 million in 2016 to 3.55 million in 2021, the FAA predicted earlier this year. Hackers have previously been able to breach the devices, altering security features. How a base responds to a drone "will depend upon the specific circumstances". The measure saw USA military bases join a growing list of spaces other than airports where drones are banned from flying, including Beijing's Tiananmen Square.

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