The South Africa National Defence Force is planning to begin using unmanned drone helicopters designed by a state weapons manufacturer to catch rhino poachers. Sadly, rhino poaching is becoming increasingly prevalent in the African nation.
Defense Minister Lindiwe Sisulu described the unmanned aerial vehicle as similar to "a [model] helicopter that your 8-year-old sons [might] use." The first generation of drones will be equipped with a camera to capture images of poachers. In the future, though, "we will take more drastic measures," Sisulu said. "We want to develop it to the point where we can target the poacher."
Does this mean the UAV will eventually be equipped with weapons? Sisulu didn't say. But, even in this initial effort, she hopes the drones will discourage poaching.
"The issue of rhinos is one we recognize as particularly brutal, and we have committed ourselves to SA National Parks in dealing with this matter," she said.