Swiss Drone Capture Eagle squadron to be replaced by drone jamming device
Swiss newspaper Le Matin Dimache quoted Geneva police as saying: "Due to technological and strategic advancements in drones, raptor capture drones are becoming more and more difficult to achieve and even dangerous for eagles."
Back in 2017, the so-called "drone falcon" program was launched to protect dignitaries in Switzerland, a city that often hosts events such as international conferences. Falcons are trained to intercept unwanted drones in the air. One of the falcon trainers taught two raptors, Altair and Draco, how to catch undesired unmanned aerial systems (UAS).
Altair and Draco are about to lose their jobs
Because drones are now getting too big and heavy, it is difficult for drones to intercept and even cause falcons to be injured; in addition, the cost of drone falcon training is as high as 100,000 euros, which is much higher than the current UAVs jamming device. This has led various countries to abandon the drone falcon program. Purchasing drone jamming device to defend against various drones becomes a more effective and cost-effective solution.
Drones are getting too big and heavy
Why the risk of injury is now higher than at the start of the project in 2017 is not discussed in detail. But it could mean powerful drones have become so cheap that they are very common. At the time, the main danger came from smaller camera drones, which were technically considered toys, but today you can buy larger and heavier drones for relatively little money.
Training costs € 100,000
Geneva police purchased and hatched 2 eagle eggs in 2017. Falconer Umberto Nassini trains the Raptor. As expected, he was disappointed: "The project invested 100,000 euros and hundreds of hours of work," he said.
In the future, Geneva police will rely on drone jamming technology to combat drones. These include signal jammers, drone radars and network transmitters. These devices are already in use in other cantons in Switzerland.