Friday, March 3, 2017

Meet The French Drone Killers

Drone-Killing Eagle
Under French military supervision, four golden eagle chicks hatched in 2016 atop aerial drones — born into a world of terror and machines they would be bred to destroy.

The eagles — named d'Artagnan, Athos, Porthos and Aramis — grew up with their nemeses. They chased drones through green grass that summer, pecking futilely at composite shells as seen in Sky News footage. They were rewarded with meat, which they ate off the backs of the drones.

When the eagles were ready — this month — d'Artagnan launched screeching from a military control tower across a field, Agence France-Presse reported.

The bird covered 200 meters in 20 seconds, slamming into a drone, then diving with the wreckage into the tall grass.

"The eagles are making good progress," said the French air force's commander of a program that adapts the ancient art of falconry to the threats of unmanned flight.

Weeks earlier, on the other side of the world, Iraqi soldiers fired their guns wildly into the sky after a small drone dropped a bomb on them. Terrorists have been modifying devices that can be bought in toy stores into weapons and radio-controlled spies, the Associated Press reported.

The French have been concerned since early 2015, when drones flew over the presidential palace and a restricted military site, according to Agence France-Presse.

No one was harmed. But terrorist attacks later that year, including the November massacre in Paris, inspired military officials to creative prevention.

They wanted a way to take down drones without shooting at them — a potential disaster if one went rogue in a crowded area.

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