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Where Eagles Dare

French military use winged warriors to hunt down rogue drones

Where Eagles Dare thanks to Roy Taylor

A golden eagle grabs a flying drone during a military training exercise at Mont-de-Marsan French Air Force base, southwestern France

Where Eagles Dare thanks to Roy Taylor

DJI phantom drones no match for drone-seeking eagle

Where Eagles Dare thanks to Roy Taylor

A golden eagle carries a flying DJI Phantom drone away during a military training exercise

Following incidents of drones flying over the Presidential Palace and restricted military sites - along with the 2015 Paris terror attacks - the French air force has trained four golden eagles to intercept and destroy rogue UAV drone aircraft. Aptly named Aramis, Athos, d’Artagnan and Porthos (an homage to Alexandre Dumas’ “The Three Musketeers”) the four birds of prey have been honing their attack skills in France since mid-2016.

“A drone means food for these birds,” stated Gerald Machoukow, the military base’s falconer. “Now they automatically go after them.”

The use of hunting birds (normally falcons and northern goshawks) by military forces around the globe is common practice in the fight to scare other birds away from runways and so cut the risk of accidents during takeoff or landing. But it wasn’t until 2015 when the Dutch started using bald eagles to intercept drones that others started to see the benefit of these winged warriors. The French bred the four golden eagles using artificial insemination since eagles are a protected species and harvesting wild eggs is strictly forbidden. They chose the golden eagle because of the bird’s hooked beak and sharp eyesight.

Weighing in at around 11 pounds, the birds are in a similar weight class as the drones they’re sent to destroy. Clocking in at a top air speed of 50 miles per hour, with the capability of spotting its target from over a mile away, the eagles are deft hunters. To protect the eagles from drone blades and any explosive device that might be attached to them, the French military designed mittens of leather and Kevlar, an anti-blast material, to protect the bird’s talons.

QuotaBills
Love is a kind of military service. - Ovid

Owning a drone does not a pilot make. - Alex Morritt

It is not death that alarms me, but dying. - Michel De Montaigne

Thou drone, thou snail, thou slug, thou sot! - William Shakespeare

Military intelligence is a contradiction in terms. - Groucho Marx

Marketing strategy is a lot like military strategy. - Liddell Hart

Protect your enthusiasm from the negativity of others. - H. Jackson Brown Jr.

You cannot fly like an eagle with the wings of a wren. - William Henry Hudson

Lawyers are men whom we hire to protect us from lawyers. - Elbert Hubbard

The old age of an eagle is better than the youth of a sparrow. - Proverb

Military justice is to justice what military music is to music. - Groucho Marx

Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines. - Steven Wright

I would uphold the law if for no other reason but to protect myself. - Thomas More

The duty of a patriot is to protect his country from its government. - Edward Abbey

He prefers the security of known misery to the misery of unfamiliar insecurity. - Sheldon B. Kopp

Idealism, alas, does not protect one from ignorance, dogmatism, and foolishness. - Sidney Hook

A memorandum isn't written to inform the receiver, but to protect the writer. - Dean Acheson

It is true greatness to have in one the frailty of a man and the security of a god. - Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Birds find shelter during the rain, but eagles avoid rain by flying above the clouds. - Abdul Kalam

Of all the tasks of government, the most basic is to protect its citizens from violence. - John Foster Dulles

A man's own good breeding is the best security against other people's ill manners. - Lord Chesterfield

Statistics have shown that mortality increases perceptibly in the military during wartime. - Alphonse Allais

I used to think that one of the great signs of security was the ability to just walk away. - Jack Nicholson

I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father's protection. - Sigmund Freud

You can't fly with the owls by night and expect to keep up with the eagles during the day. - Unknown

I do not think there is any silver bullet to solving the technology side of the security equation. - John W. Thompson

My parents live in a retirement community, which is basically a minimum-security prison with a golf course. - Joel Warshaw

Too many people are thinking of security instead of opportunity. They seem to be more afraid of life than death. - James F. Bymes

You can't reach old age by another man's road. My habits protect my life but they would assassinate you. - Mark Twain

The only security men can have for their political liberty, consists in keeping their money in their own pockets. - Lysander Spooner

Tariff: A scale of taxes on imports, designed to protect the domestic producer against the greed of his consumer. - Ambrose Bierce

If you can't even acknowledge that you have to fix social security, that's not a very good starting point. - Rob Portman

Enthusiasm is the best protection in any situation. Wholeheartedness is contagious. Give yourself if you wish to get others. - David Seabury

As an experienced artist, I carry my work like a secret pregnancy. I am always aware of inner life and the need to protect it. - Julia Cameron

Does America really need to be the best at everything? You already dominate the world in economics, military power and obesity. - Trevor Noah

Accountant: 1. A noble insect; 2. A dutiful book balancer whose role within a corporation is to protect it from creative ideas. - Daffynitions joe-ks.com

My best security is within the munitions of an immutable Jehovah, where His unalterable promises stand like giant walls of rock. - Charles H Spurgeon

Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other. - Oscar Ameringer

In a world of complex threats, our security and leadership depends on all elements of our power - including strong and principled diplomacy. - Barack Obama

Social Security's not the hard one to solve. Medicare, that is the gorilla in the room, and you've got to put all of it on the table. - Joe Biden


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