Friday, August 24, 2018

Death from the Sky: Drone Assassination

This is a ~$1000 drone, max velocity ~70kph (~45mph), range ~30min flying time, controller range ~5km. It's only 1 kilo -- so payload is limited. It is optimized for photography, not for speed or range or payload. But it gives you an idea of what is possible at the same cost as, say, a couple of cheap AR15s... A real hobbyist could construct something cheaper, faster, with bigger payload. But this you can buy with one click ready to go.

It's never been easier for a bad guy to deliver an explosive charge (e.g., fraction of a kilo) to a target from a mile away. Operating a drone like this takes almost no training.

Defeating two of them coming from different directions, staggered by a few seconds, would be extremely hard even for an active security detail. Follow the target in their car and detonate the drone near the gas tank when the car stops at an intersection. Or have the drone waiting near the intersection if you know the route in advance.

If your target is commercial aviation, hit a 747 near its fuel tank as it waits to take off. A sitting duck, and no fooling around with military gear like MANPADs -- remember, you can be a mile or more away from the airport, sitting on your hotel room balcony, or in your car ready to hit the freeway.

Will this ever happen? Thank goodness terrorists tend to be incompetent... But 9/11 was a good example of what can happen when they are not.

See also Assassination by Drone.

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