THE Pentagon has given US military bases permission to shoot down or otherwise destroy consumer drones flying overhead and nearby.
A spokesman revealed that guidance was issued on 4 August.
He said the exact terms of the policy were classified.
The move comes days after the US Army ordered its own troops to stop using drones made by Chinese manufacturer DJI because of alleged “cyber-vulnerabilities”.
It became illegal to fly personal drones within 400ft (122m) of the US’s 133 military facilities in April.
The Federal Aviation Administration announced at the time that those who disobeyed the order would face financial penalties and possible criminal charges.
The watchdog has forecast that US-based hobbyists will own more than 3.5 million drones by 2021, and that there could be a further 1.6 million commercial models in operation.
The technology’s growing popularity has raised privacy and safety concerns.
There have already been incidents in which members of the public have shot down dronesflying over their own properties.
And the new guidance is intended to clarify what steps military bases can take, and warn local communities of the potential counter-measures.
“We retain the right of self-defence and when it comes to… drones operating over military installations, this new guidance does afford us the ability to take action to stop those threats,” Navy Captain Jeff Davis said in a written statement, adding that this included “tracking, disabling and destroying” the aircraft.