Faced with the specter of a terrorist threat from rogue drones, the French are recruiting an avian ally. At a base in the southwest of the country, a special army unit has for months been training four golden eagles to spot drones and perform mid-air takedowns.
Details of the program emerged last week when French media outlets reported on an experimental program that involves soldiers raising the eagles from chicks, and training them to associate the drones with food.
As Le Parisien explains, the soldiers began by serving meat to the young eagles on the ground using drones as dinner plates. When the eagles grew a bit older, the trainers then presented them with drones hovering in the air—to predictable results. The eagles swooped in and seized the drones in talons that can exert pressure of 500 pounds per square inch. (This YouTube video shows them in action).