The Gendarmerie accelerates in the fight against drones

Summer has been hot in the fight against drones. A drone, remotely controlled by the environmental organization Greenpeace, crashed into a building at the EDF nuclear power plant in Saint-Vulbas (Ain) in early July. Then, at the beginning of August, an attack with explosive drones targets Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro. A few days later, the Republican Guard neutralizes a drone a little too curious, but unarmed, near the holiday resort of French President Emmanuel Macron, Fort Brégançon (Var).

Read also on L’Essor: Info L’Essor: the drone flying over Fort Brégançon was “neutralized” by the Republican Guard with a rifle interfering

In the ranks of specialists in the fight against drones signal jammer, it is time for concern. In Singapore, the best police experts met under the auspices of Interpol to take stock at a seminar in late August. “The possible use of drones in a terrorist attack, against a critical infrastructure or soft targets, is a growing concern of the security forces, worries the organization of international police cooperation. As drones become cheaper, we expect an increase in this threat. ”

Advanced know-how

An anti-wrestling rifle used by the Gendarmerie on the Castelet circuit (National Gendarmerie video screenshot).

An anti-drone rifle used by the Gendarmerie on the Castelet circuit (National Gendarmerie video screenshot).

In France, the Gendarmerie has acquired state-of-the-art know-how in this area. It has a significant strike force. According to our information, it has already trained about 200 operators in the fight against drones, distributed in the body of specialists in information and communication systems (CIS) and the Republican Guard, which has a dedicated structure. The weapon is very discreet on its material. At best, we know that she bought several anti-drone rifles from different companies, perfecting them with the help of the service of technologies and information systems of homeland security (STSI2).

Read also on L’Essor: The Gndarmerie on the front lines for surveillance of civilian drones

This summer, the gendarmes specialized in the fight against drones were thus discreetly present on the circuit of Castellet, for the Formula 1 Grand Prix de France at the end of June. They were also behind the scenes of the Avignon theater festival, for the 14th of July or, a few weeks ago, to secure the Braderie de Lille.

Almost the only ones in the ministry ”

These gendarmerie specialists are not unemployed. They already count 200 days of employment in mission for the year 2018. “We are strongly solicited because we are almost the only ones in the Ministry of the Interior, with the Prefecture of police of Paris, to be able to provide means and to engage capabilities “, including in the area of ​​competence of the National Police, analyzes Colonel Jean-François Morel, Special Advisor in the Directorate of Operations and Employment and expert on the subject.

The gendarmes are not the only ones to be interested in the fight against drones in France. But the Air commandos, equipped with anti-aircraft rifles, are focused on the protection of their air bases and on external operations. To respond to this strong demand, the Force has decided to further develop its strike force. A project is thus underway to reinforce the capabilities of the Weapon, distribute them among the various defense and security zones and train new operators.

The Belleville-sur-Loire nuclear power plant in the Cher (Photo / SD / L’Essor).

If the gendarmes are in the lead on this subject, it is because they are leaving from afar. The Gendarmerie takes its first operational steps in the fight against drones at Euro 2016. Two years ago, the illegal overflight of many nuclear power plants, protected by the Gendarmerie, had shown the relevance of this new threat. The gendarmerie of air transport thus opened 370 investigations for overflights since that date.