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U.S. military bases can now shoot down private drones

09 August 2017

The Pentagon has authorized secret rules of engagement for dealing with private and commercial drones found flying over or around any of 133 domestic military bases. All drone activities within the United States must follow Federal Aviation Administration rules and guidelines. The watchdog has forecast that US-based hobbyists will own more than 3.5 million drones by 2021, and that there could be a further 1.6 million commercial models in operation. And now, civilians don't need to register their drones with the us government. The policy specifically applies to drones that it says are potential "threats", but the military didn't say when or how a drone becomes a threat.

Marine Corps Lieutenant General Vincent R. Stewart, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, told the Senate Armed Services Committee in April that "In the past year, ISIS's use of unmanned aerial systems (drones) for surveillance and delivery of explosives has increased, posing a new threat to civilian infrastructure and military installations".

The Pentagon has signed off on a new policy that will allow military bases to shoot down private or commercial drones that are deemed a threat, Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis announced Monday.

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Attacks by drones aren't the only thing that has the military concerned about the devices, however.

The U.S. Army hasn't specifically stated how close a drone has to be before it gets shot down.

Drones are already banned from sensisitve sites including Washington D.C. and the Pentagon. Davis said the military will determine how to handle each situation on a case-by-case basis depending on each circumstance and the type of installation where unmanned aircraft are loitering.

U.S. military bases can now shoot down private drones