SELF-DESTRUCTING DRONES

The Washington Times Weekly - - Geopolitics -

Mil­i­tary an­a­lysts say one op­tion the Pen­tagon could use to pre­vent China from more provoca­tive thefts of un­der­wa­ter drones is to out­fit the glid­ers with ex­plo­sive self-de­struct charges.

The glider taken last week and re­turned Mon­day is un­der 24-hour re­mote com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Adding an ex­plo­sive charge to its com­po­nents and an­nounc­ing that ca­pa­bil­ity would de­ter thefts. Any­one who im­prop­erly tried to steal the drone would be faced with death or in­jury.

The Is­lamic State ter­ror­ist group used a sim­i­lar tac­tic in a re­cent at­tack in Syria.

Ac­cord­ing to Pen­tagon of­fi­cials, Is­lamic State fight­ers last sum­mer sent an aerial drone into Kur­dish-con­trolled ter­ri­tory in Syria and made it ap­pear that the drone had landed as a re­sult of a malfunction or loss of re­mote con­trol.

Kur­dish mili­tias re­trieved the small air­craft and drove it to a nearby base, be­liev­ing they were about to gain a wind­fall on Is­lamic State in­tel­li­gence-gath­er­ing ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

But three Kur­dish fight­ers were killed and sev­eral oth­ers were wounded af­ter tak­ing the drone apart.

An in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­vealed that the Is­lamic State had booby-trapped the drone with a type of im­pro­vised ex­plo­sive de­vice de­signed to kill lead­ers or in­tel­li­gence per­son­nel. The bomb was dis­guised as a sec­ond small bat­tery in­side the drone.

Contact Bill Gertz on Twit­ter via @Bil­lGertz.

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