Churchill said the RAF during World War Two were the heroic “few”, but we may soon have a new clan of winged warriors to thank for our national survival.
In a bold national security effort, pigeons could soon fight terrorist drones.
Defence chiefs are increasingly worried about the threat of drones – known by military leaders as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) – and think pigeons might hold the key to their defeat, the i reported.
Unnamed US companies are investigating the possibility of the birds serving on the frontlines in the war against terror.
It’s said they will be trained to fly straight at a murderous machine, neutralising an attack at the cost of their own lives.
This sounds less crazy that it actually is.
Since the wars of the 20th century, pigeons have been used to communicate with people and are considered a viable option for bomb-carrying birds.
Defense chiefs have trained birds of prey to intercept drones in recent years. However, the results have been mixed.
The ‘suicide pigeons’ plan shows just how worried military figures are about the coming threat of drone attacks.
A UK military official told the i: “Everyone saw the drone display at the opening ceremony for the Olympics.
“Now imagine those 2,000 or so drones not making pretty pictures but each armed with a smart munition and programmed to seek multiple, interlinked and changing targets – such as an infantry battalion, or even just a crowd.
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“And then imagine that you don’t even need multiple operators of those drones. They are autonomous and you just need to press a button to launch the equivalent of an entire air force.
“That is the sort of capability that is fast coming around the corner.”
An arms race among global powers is ongoing to develop the best anti-drone tech, with the ambitious US firm on the wacky side of a huge financial battle.
It will soon be clear where the truth lies, or how high.