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How long before there is a terrorist drone strike?

  john bunyan 19:33 13 Dec 2016

We'll have heard of drones being used to smuggle drugs etc into prisons, there have been near misses with aircraft. It seems obvious that ISIS or a similar terrorist organisation may attempt a strike on, say, a Buckingham Palace garden party, or another high profile target using a variety of nasty agents. I cannot believe how there are so few regulations nor prosecutions. Surely, as a minimum, they should be licenced to named, traceable individuals, and drone free zones rigoursly enforced. I hope I am wrong in worrying.

  bumpkin 20:03 13 Dec 2016

*they should be licenced to named, traceable individuals, and drone free zones *

I don't think terrorists would be too concerened about those matters.

  bumpkin 20:05 13 Dec 2016

edit add rigoursly enforced.

  OTT_B 20:13 13 Dec 2016

I hope I am wrong in worrying.

I think you're probably a bit ahead of yourself in worrying for the time being. The problem with bombs is that an effective bomb is heavy, and drones can only carry very light payloads. One of the reasons drones have become popular in the last few years is that material technology has improved to the point where you can have a light, small object flying for sustained periods. If you go and add the mass of even a small weapon, the drone won't be able to take off.

Anything that flies and can take a significant payload would be large, and those types of radio control models already exist and have done for decades. There are already laws in place to cover the use of these aircraft, which also cover drones. While the government may respond to public concern by tightening the laws and enforcement of them, no substantial changes would be required

  john bunyan 20:30 13 Dec 2016


I do not wish to add knowledge but some chemicals or nuclear radiating or biological weapons are light. Obviously terrorists would not licence their drone but surely it is possible for drones to be required to have radio identification such as iff . I see a future for "fighter drones" , or the use of anti drone eagles like the Dutch have.

  bumpkin 21:22 13 Dec 2016

*but surely it is possible for drones to be required to have radio identification such as iff *

I expect it is but how would that help, that is a question not a criticism of the suggestion.

  bumpkin 21:27 13 Dec 2016

I don't wish to use certain key words but why can't one just post such a device.

  OTT_B 22:09 13 Dec 2016

..but some chemicals or nuclear radiating or biological weapons are light

Nuclear materials that can output dangerous amounts of radiation are very, very heavy (dense), and very large volumes are needed. Biological weapons are a slightly different matter, but it still comes down to mass. An aerosol delivery would require a large delivery system, unless you only want a small chance of giving one person a slight flu. As for chemical, yes, possibly that's more of a concern. But even then, the delivery system (read: mass) required for a large scale deployment is rather large - think in terms of the sarin gas attack in Tokyo. Each device contained over 1kg of agent....that about 1kg more than a drone could handle. While the injury rate was horrific, 'only' 8 people died on the day of the attack (wikpedia).

There may well be more potent attack agents out there, but a drone, for the time being, can only handle a few grams of payload, and that's not a lot.

  john bunyan 08:06 14 Dec 2016


Some drones carry 20 kg, more than enough to carry a nasty.

heavy lift drones

  Forum Editor 11:19 14 Dec 2016

I know someone who uses a heavy-lift drone to carry a pretty bulky UHD video camera. He runs a video-production company, and often uses the drone for aerial footage. It's an impressive sight as it lifts off.

I don't really know how much the camera weighs, but I'm guessing that it's well over 10 kilos with its stabilising gear.

  oresome 16:19 14 Dec 2016

Amazon have made their first drone delivery. A bag of popcorn to a customer with a large plot of land allowing plenty of room for landing error.


click here

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