China Starts Shooting Down Illegal UAVs With Anti-Drone Rifles

A MaxAero quadcopter drone flies with a camera attached at the 2015 CeBIT technology trade fair in Hanover, Germany..

A MaxAero quadcopter drone flies with a camera attached at the 2015 CeBIT technology trade fair in Hanover, Germany..

Chinese officials have started a fight against illegal drones, arming the country with more than 20 drone-jamming rifles.

Officers in Wuhan, Central China, have been given rifles that emit radio-jamming signals to knock quadcopters and other unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from the horizon. Instead of immediately disabling the drones, the high-tech weapon puts drones on a controlled decent, so they could land without causing damage or injuring other people.

The scoped rifles emit radio frequencies similar to the ones drones use to communicate with the operator’s control unit, usually between the 2.4GHz and 5.8GHz ranges, IBTimes reported. The concept is also the same as the anti-drone gun from US firm DroneShield.

The Wuhan police department has been testing the guns in preparation for the 2017 Wuhan Marathon, Mashable reported. This is to prevent overhead UAVs from posing threats to spectators and participants.

Wuhan enforcers were able to successfully shoot six drones from the sky at a distance of a kilometer during a demonstration last week. The rifle, however, does not come cheap, carrying a price tag of 250,000 yuan ($36,200).

China has been implementing strict measures for drones. It recently planned a mandatory real name registration for drone owners to help the country monitor and manage security risks posed by UAVs in airports and other sensitive areas.

Currently, China has more than 20,000 drones, and over 50 percent of the owners do not have any license to operate. Moreover, the Civil Aviation Administration of China is not responsible for overseeing drones.

The bureau has also called for a formal policy to standardize the production and usage of drones to make sure that safe operations on airports, military facilities, and other places with national security importance are carried out.

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