Law enforcement is also lobbying for radar transponders and clearance in populated areas to avoid collisions with low flying aircraft.
The Defense Department is planning a new pilot program to arm low-flying unmanned aircraft with precision weapons, a move to emulate strike capabilities of higher-flying Predator UAVs that Pentagon officials believe could point toward an entire class of small, unmanned systems capable of killing targets they locate. U.S. Special Operations Command will launch in fiscal year 2009 a technology demonstration effort to equip Shadow unmanned aerial vehicles with laser-guided munitions, according to Pentagon officials. . .“We’re going to weaponize Shadow for SOCOM,” John Wilcox, director of the joint concept technology demonstrations office in the Office of the Secretary of Defense’s Advanced Systems and Concepts shop, disclosed. “We’re also going to look at weaponizing a couple more small UAVs.” With one-to-five-pound weapons, these tiny killers could take out high-value targets — “or hold a target at risk until bigger and better operational platforms with more ordnance get onto the battlefield.”