This is the anti-drone rifle that the National Police boasts

A message on Twitter from the official account of the National Police has focused on the anti-drone rifle, but what is one of the “most sophisticated weapons” to which the body has access?

Technology never stops advancing, and with it the illegitimate, fraudulent or illegal uses of it; thus begins a real arms race between criminals and security forces, with the latter constantly having to adapt to new situations and threats.

One of the most recent cases is that of drones. After a few years without specific legislation, the use of drones in populated areas is now more controlled in Spain, with the definition of certain limits. In Spain, drones are limited to a height of 120 meters, must always be within visual range of the pilot, and must not fly in a minimum of 8 kilometers of controlled airspace, such as airports.

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… the anti-drone rifle is one of the most sophisticated weapons we use to neutralize drones that fly over it? protected spaces ????

— National Police (@police)

But while these rules were being developed, this technology has advanced to very advanced levels. Nowadays it is possible to obtain drones with great autonomy, fast and capable of transporting from cameras to boxes of material quickly and automatically. They are also increasingly used in demonstrations, brawls and espionage.

For these and other occasions, companies like HiKVision developed weapons like the UAV Jammer UAV-D04JAI, the model that appears in the photo shared by the National Police. Although at first glance it looks like a somewhat ‘strange’ rifle or machine gun, it is actually an advanced electronic device capable of making a drone fall from the skies.

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Youtube Video

The main function of this rifle is to interfere with communications, specifically, those that are constantly carried out between the drone and the pilot who is controlling it remotely. Given the necessary precision and the distance at which it is effective, between 800 and 1,000 meters, a peephole is included with which the operator can aim; from then on, you just have to shoot, as if it were a firearm.

Youtube Video

The process that continues is somewhat more complex. The device is able to affect the remote connection of the drone, so the first effect is that it can no longer be remotely controlled; in addition, it also overrides the on-board sensors, so the drone goes ‘blind’. Thereafter there are several options; it is possible to capture the drone, or have it return to the original launch site. The operator can disable GPS or attack communications, adjusting the power of the attack directly from the rifle.

The great drawback of this weapon is that it requires electrical energy, and although it has a battery, it only offers an hour and a half of use; although it has a low power mode that lasts for ten hours.

These anti-drone rifles are sold only to the security forces of the countries, and have been used in Spain for years, normally in big events such as the 2019 Champions League final. But their use is not without controversy, due to the great power that they grant to control not only the skies, but the cameras that travel in the drones.

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On March 8, the Mexican army used these devices during the demonstrations for Women’s Day; they were initially confused with sniper rifles, which sparked panic and forced the Presidency to publicly declare that the agents were not carrying firearms. In addition, there is the question of the price, exceeding 40,000 dollars for each one; and the first reactions to the message on Twitter from the Police include criticism for this.

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