Tags: Homeland Security | Law Enforcement | NSA/Surveillance | Trump Administration | military | drones | police

Police May Be Using Military Drones by 2025

Police May Be Using Military Drones by 2025
(AP Photo/Richard Drew)

By    |   Monday, 28 August 2017 10:12 PM

By as early as 2025 American police departments might be ditching their choppers for modified versions of military drone aircraft, Defense One reported.

The drones are cheaper, fly longer, and are easier to hide from criminals being surveilled. And there is no crew aboard to be injured or killed in the event of a crash.

They also can be equipped with cameras powerful enough to identify a person from several miles away.

While that is expected to be a boon for law enforcement, it also raises privacy concerns.

But the more immediate issue facing drone-makers is one of regulation. Current FAA rules still apply to human-piloted craft, not those flown by people in distant areas like the military drones monitoring and attacking terrorist fighters in the Middle East.

"The market won't exist until the regulations exist," Matthew Scassero, director of the University of Maryland Unmanned Aircraft Systems Test Site, told Defense One. "The FAA was a little slow in coming around to the realization that we needed to get those in place."

One of the most well-known regulations currently in place is that drones can be flown only within line of site of the operator. This rule applies to smaller drones flown by individuals as well.

But the larger drones that police departments would fly would have to meet rules of regular piloted aircraft, including flying in all weather and the ability to survive a lightning strike.

General Atomics, which makes the Reaper anti-terror drone, is working on fixing those issues in its MQ-9B, the civilian version of military drone. Bigger firms such as Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman also want in on the action.

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By as early as 2025 American police departments may be ditching their choppers for modified versions of military drone aircraft, Defense One reported.
military, drones, police, helicopters
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2017-12-28
Monday, 28 August 2017 10:12 PM
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