Citing an exponential growth in “hostile” operations of small unmanned aircraft systems (sUAS), Guard From Above (GFA), a company based in The Hague, Netherlands, is training birds of prey to intercept drones.
The company, based at The Hague Security Delta campus, says it works mainly with national and international governmental security agencies. In particular, GFA is collaborating with the Dutch National Police, which has released a video showing one of the birds approaching an in-flight quadcopter, grabbing it with its claws and bringing it to the other end of the room against the wall.
“For years, the government has been looking for ways to counter the undesirable use of drones. Sometimes, a low-tech solution for a high-tech problem is more obvious than it seems,” says Sjoerd Hoogendoorn, founder and CEO of GFA. “This is the case with our specially trained birds of prey. By using these birds’ animal instincts, we can offer an effective solution to a new threat.
“In the past few years, Guard From Above has perfected the techniques of intercepting drones with different kinds and sizes of birds of prey. We are the world’s first company that can bring this unique solution to the market. We are extremely proud of our team and of our birds,” Hoogendoorn continues.
In an effort to investigate any extra protective measures for the birds, GFA says the Dutch police have asked the Dutch Organization for Applied Scientific Research to look into any possible impacts to the birds’ claws.
Ben de Keijzer, co-founder and chief operating officer of GFA, adds, “I have had a passion for birds of prey since I was very young. Later, I made my passion my profession by becoming a bird handler. Two of the most impressive characteristics of birds of prey are their speed and their power. They use their strength and speed when they hunt: They are masters of the air. By using our special training methods, we can team them to intercept drones.”