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Military can destroy drones over domestic US bases: Pentagon

A drone hovers at a viewpoint overlooking the Space Needle and skyline of tech hub Seattle, Washington, U.S. February 11, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Helgren/Files Photograph: (Reuters)

Reuters New Delhi, India Aug 08, 2017, 05.53 AM (IST)

Headquarters of United States Department of Defense, Pentagon, has given more than 130 US military bases across the United States the green light to shoot down private and commercial drones that could endanger aviation safety or pose other threats.

The uncrewed aircrafts have multiplied in US skies in recent years and continue to increase at a fast rate.  U.S. and private-sector officials are concerned that dangerous or even hostile drones could cause disturbance in places like military bases, airports and sports stadiums.

While the specific action that the U.S. military can take against drones remain classified, it will include destroying or seizing private and commercial drones that pose a threat, Pentagon spokesman Navy Captain Jeff Davis told reporters on Monday.

The classified guidelines were distributed early last month. The Pentagon sent out unclassified guidance on how to communicate the policy to communities on Friday.

"The increase of commercial and private drones in the United States has raised our concerns with regards to the safety and security of our installations, aviation safety and the safety of people," Davis said.

In April, flights of drones over 133 US military bases were prohibited for security concerns.

Drones have become popular as toys and with hobbyists, and have commercial uses such as aerial photography. Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google unit have been utilising drones to deliver online ordered goods ordered.

The Federal Aviation Administration estimated the commercial drone fleet would grow to about 442,000 aircraft by 2021 from 42,000 that were present at the end of 2016. The FAA said there could be as many as 1.6 million commercial drones in use by 2021.

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