War Eagles, Air Superiority Against Drones

 In Foreign

Most of us think of “War Eagles” as the term for the Auburn University sports team…and their mascot. But the term has a more military meaning that is deeply connected to Native Americans. The “War Eagle” is a term given to the Golden Eagle by tribes the United States. They are respected and revered by many. France and the Netherlands are training them to down drones.

Military warriors in the sky

In recent months drones have been seen flying around sensitive areas of both the French military and Parliament. And in the Middle East, terrorists are using drones to drop bombs. The security risk caused the French government to restrict the use of drones in specific areas. And now they’ve got enforcers.

Enter: War Eagles

After an untrained Australian eagle demonstrated innate hostility to a drone, attacking and downing  it, studies were done and it was shown that the eagles would have air superiority over them. Dutch police began raising them as well.

The first brood of 4 Golden Eagles was raised to hate drones and take them out of the sky. They are trained to regard drones as prey according to Sky News – and they are rewarded with a piece of meat when they successfully snag them in their powerful talons and take them to the ground.

screenshot of baby eagle training

The first 4 French eagles, raised from hatchlings, were nicknamed the  Les Trois Mousquetaires: Athos, Porthos, Aramis, and d’Artagnan after Alexander Dumas’ story “The Three Muskateers.”

Indian Country Today’s Steve Russell wrote  on July 21,

In a public demonstration, d’Artagnan launched from a military control tower with an eagle scream, covered 200 meters in 20 seconds, and left the remains of his target in a stand of tall grass.

A second brood of war eagles is on order. The eagle handlers are designing mittens of leather and Kevlar to protect the birds’ talons in case their interception sets off the bomb.

Emphasis on “left the remains” of his target. So much for technology against mother nature.

We’re pretty sure PETA will have something to say about this plan. But the specially bred French War Eagles are a way to intercept bomb-carrying drones over highly populated areas. The eagles are fast, smart, and well-trained in their tactic.

 

Featured photo screenshot from Sky News

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