BEGUN, THE DRONE WARS HAVE: USAF Wants Authority To Down Drones After F-22 Near Miss.

In early July, an F-22 Raptor pilot coming in for a landing just barely avoided colliding with a small, commercial unmanned aerial system (UAS). That same week, a base security guard watched another tiny drone fly onto the complex and over the flight line before heading back out.

In neither case did the airman have the legal authority to shoot down or otherwise disable the drone.
As drone technology becomes cheaper and more commercially available, the U.S. Air Force is increasingly worried about the threats posed by small UAS such as quadcopters. But while the service is developing the tools to defend against these systems—from jamming their electronics to shooting them down—it lacks the legal authority to use them, says Gen. James Holmes, commander of Air Combat Command.

“Imagine a world where somebody flies a couple hundred of those, and flies one down the intake of one of my F-22s with just a small weapon,” Holmes said July 11 during an event on Capitol Hill. “I need the authorities to deal with that.”

China and others are taking notes, I’m sure.