The Kremlin possesses hawks and falcons that can hunt down and intercept drones that threaten the airspace of its heavily-fortified complex in central Moscow, a source in the security forces told the state-run RIA Novosti news agency Monday.
The government’s 45-year-old ornithology service employs falcons, hawks and eagle-owls to protect against crows.
The source told RIA that the birds of prey have the capacity to take down unmanned aerial vehicles over the Kremlin, but that it was “better to use falcons instead of hawks.”
“The weight [of the hawks] is low, so it is difficult for them to intercept even small drones,” the source was cited as saying Monday.
The source cited similar attempts to train hunting birds against drones by the Dutch police two years ago. That program was eventually shelved after two years over high costs.
Other anti-drone defenses available to the Kremlin include an anti-drone gun capable of neutralizing drones from up to 2 kilometers away. The gun was presented by the Defense Ministry’s main robotics research center last year.