The US Army Can Now Shoot Down Trespassing Drones

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The Pentagon has given more than 130 US military bases across the United States the green light to shoot down private and commercial drones that could endanger aviation safety or pose other threats.

The Pentagon has approved a new policy that authorises military bases to shoot down private and commercial drones encroaching on its airspace.

The U.S. military branches are free to shoot down or otherwise remove unauthorized drones flying too close to military bases, according to newly declassified Pentagon guidelines. The Pentagon has recently signed off on a new policy that will allow military bases to shoot down drones that trespass on their property.

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.

He said that the actions taken by military officials at the bases to address a threat posed by a drone could include "incapacitating or destroying them".

Air Force spokeswoman Erika Yepsen told Inside Defense this week the service is pleased with the progress made in partnership with the FAA but did not elaborate on what policy and acquisition work still needs to be done. Drones may also be tracked or seized for investigative purposes.

The FAA restricted private and commercial drone activity near 133 USA military installations earlier this year. Additionally, terror groups like ISIS have been able to weaponize commercially available drones, increasingly using them in combat in Iraq and Syria.

All UAS activities within the United States must follow appropriate FAA regulations and guidelines, Davis said, noting that UAS activity outside FAA rules and guidelines is considered "unauthorized activity".

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