Demystifying Military Drones

These days, military drones are much in the news and getting everyone’s attention. Just recently, a video that seemed to have been taken by a military drone was accidentally leaked, according to reports.


a military drone

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Military drone recordings were accidentally streamed on the internet.

The US government appears to have accidentally streamed footage of a military-style drone.

The video appears to be recording thousands of feet above northwest Florida, over the coast, with the camera aimed at random civilian boaters.

Experts have deduced that the footage came from Predator drones, which are primarily used by the Air Force and CIA to record an area right before a missile is dropped. Read more here:


This kind of footage is rather chilling, for it showed civilian boats and people on other water vehicles, raising serious concerns.


It would have been different if the scene were being captured for someone’s commercial drone photography services. Even then, this might run afoul of the state’s and the FAA’s privacy rules.


The state of Florida’s privacy law has something to say about accidental drone surveillance:

You might record in a way that allows the identification of a person or their actions. This could count as using a drone for surveillance purposes. If you are using a drone to record a general area and you capture footage of an individual, you might be liable due to the privacy law. Particularly, if you are recording with enough detail for that person to be recognizable.


See this FAA fact sheet as well.


Another report talks of how the military would counter unwanted drones in restricted areas.

The U.S. military and federal agencies are coordinating efforts to protect airports and other critical sites from the threat posed by rogue unmanned aircraft systems (UAS). Executives with the Federal Aviation Administration described a multi-pronged approach during a May 3 meeting of the agency’s Drone Advisory Committee (DAC). – Read more at:


Now with threats of war coming from North Korea, the US government has sent military drones over to South Korea in preparation.

THE US has mobilised a fleet of missile capable drones to blitz North Korea amid warnings it is running out of bombs to hit ISIS.  The Grey Eagle drones are designed to carry Hellfire missiles and have reportedly been deployed in South Korea as war looms with the North after Kim Jong-un’s third missile test fire this month. Read more at:


The world is threatened with terrorism and the most wanted terrorist groups, the ISIS is mastering the use of drones. Hence,

The battle for Mosul has been a wakeup call for drone defense. In late 2015 it emerged that ISIS had developed the capability to deliver lethal payloads using modified commercial drones, but in Mosul the attacks reached a new pitch in February with dozens of attacks a day by drones dropping grenades.Read more:


So what are military drones, and what do they really do? Here is a brief excerpt:

Drones are used in situations where manned flight is considered too risky or difficult. They provide troops with a 24-hour “eye in the sky”, seven days a week. Each aircraft can stay aloft for up to 17 hours at a time, loitering over an area and sending back real-time imagery of activities on the ground. Those used by the United States Air Force and Royal Air Force range from small intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance craft, some light enough to be launched by hand, to medium-sized armed drones and large spy planes.


As of January 2014, the U.S. military operates a large number of unmanned aerial systems (UAVs or Unmanned Air Vehicles): 7,362 RQ-11 Ravens; 990 AeroVironment Wasp IIIs; 1,137 AeroVironment RQ-20 Pumas; and 306 RQ-16 T-Hawk small UAS systems and 246 Predators and MQ-1C Grey Eagles; 126 MQ-9 Reapers; 491 RQ-7 Shadows; and 33 RQ-4 Global Hawk large systems. – Read more here:





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