In an age where every man, woman or child can purchase a drone at a store or online, the US Air Force, feeling stuck in the past, is calling on Congress to give them permission to shoot down the dastardly toys.
Picture this: A swarm of Best Buy-bought drones, possibly operated by a faction of Daesh, descends onto a US base. In this instance, the US Air Force has no ability to counter the attack – its hands are figuratively tied.
As it turns out, only federal agencies, like the Navy, Army, or even the Department of Defense, have the official ability to jam drones, since it would be considered a federal matter.
General James Holmes, head of the Air Combat Command, described to Aviation Week two recent real world incidents to which officials were unable to respond.
In the first, an F-22 Raptor nearly collided with a small commercial unmanned aerial drone when it was preparing to come in for a landing. In the same week, Air Force personnel, shocked, watched as a civilian drone flew over the base perimeter, later disappearing into the flight line.
"Imagine a world where somebody flies a couple hundred of those, and flies one down the intake of one of my F-22’s with just a small weapon," Holmes, at an event on Capitol Hill, told reporters. "I need the authorities to deal with that."
While flying drones near or over air bases in the US is considered illegal, the loophole has incited civilians to test their luck, further revealing the military’s weak spot.
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