• Italy's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Italian police to use Predator drones

The Local · 27 Nov 2014, 10:14

Published: 27 Nov 2014 10:14 GMT+01:00

In a deal with the Air Force, the unmanned planes will be rolled out for “research missions” during the day and night in Italy, the Air Force said in a statement.

“The Predator system will be used to carry out reconnaissance missions, surveillance and the acquisition of targets,” the Air Force said, without giving details of where the drones will be used.

They could be rolled out to police major events, of a similar nature to the G8 meeting in 2009 and the Russia-Italy summit held two years earlier.

Drones could also help authorities respond to natural disasters, the Air Force said. More than 300 people died when an earthquake struck L'Aquila in 2009, while in recent weeks 12 people have died in bad weather in northern Italy.

Italian media suggested police could use Predators for the surveillance of protests, which are currently watched over by helicopters. Clashes erupted in Italy earlier this month during anti-reform marches, while further protests will accompany a general strike on December 12th.

The Air Force highlighted the ability of drones to stay in the air for more than 20 hours, in addition to being quickly directed towards new targets, as particularly appealing design elements.

Italy currently owns two types of Predator drones (A+ and B+), build by California-based General Atomics.

The A+ model has a 14.8m wingspan, can travel 296km away from a base and reach heights of over 25,000ft. It cruises along at 135 to 160km an hour, while the B+ can reach speeds of 445km an hour. With a 20.1m wingspan, the latter model is the larger of the two Predators owned by the Italian Air Force.  

Drones are currently used by the UK police force, while in Germany they have been used for animal protection. 

Story continues below…

READ MORE: German drones save Bambis from farmers

A trio of European companies is currently developing drone technology, including a subsidiary of Italy's Finmeccanica. Alenia Aermacchi will work with France’s Dassault Aviation and Airbus Group in Germany to develop an unmanned aircraft by 2020, Finmeccanica announced in May.

READ MORE: Finmeccanica launches European drone project

For more news from Italy, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
My Italy - Trieste
'Speaking the dialect made me a lot of friends'
Karoline Steckley lives in Trieste (R:ho visto nina volare/Flickr)

Italy's anti-mafia police recover stolen Van Gogh paintings
A self-portrait of Van Gogh. Image: Public domain/Wikimedia Commons

The two masterpieces are worth millions of dollars.

Cyclists gear up for Tour of Lombardy race
The Giro d'Italia earlier this year. Photo: AFP

'Il Lombardia' is one of cycling's five 'monuments'.

Italy has Europe's oldest population: Eurostat
Italy is home to the highest proportion of over-80-year-olds in the EU. File photo: Pexels

13 of every 200 people in Italy are aged over 80 - the highest proportion in the EU.

Italy police get lunch for poor woman 'forced to steal food'
The stolen goods only amounted to €14. File photo: Pexels

The woman had stolen food worth €14 from a supermarket.

Renzi: UK won't get special treatment post-Brexit
The UK can't expect an easy ride post-Brexit, Renzi warned. Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP

Italian PM Matteo Renzi said the UK won't get more rights than other countries outside the EU after voting to leave the bloc.

Looters steal computers from quake town's new school
Almost a third of the schools in the area are now unusable. The above photo is of a school in Amatrice: AFP

The school had only been opened two weeks ago, after the town's existing two schools were left unusable by the earthquake.

Here's what Americans in Italy think about the US elections
The candidates shake hands before the debate. Photo: AFP

Four American expat voters from across the political spectrum talk about the issues which influenced their vote, and how it feels watching the elections from Italy.

Italy scraps bid to host 2023 Rugby World Cup
Italy's rugby team at the Six Nations earlier this year. Photo: AFP

The move is a result of Rome's decision not to bid for the 2024 Olympics.

Italy's migrant centres in crisis amid money worries
A man and his daughter in a Sardinian centre for refugees. Photo: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP

The centres are fuller than ever - but the government has stopped paying.

Photo: Tiziana Fabi/AFP
Culture
Eight things you should know about Rome's Spanish Steps
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
The incredible hero dogs of Italy’s earthquake
National
Why quake-hit Amatrice will never be the same again
National
Why discontented Italians could derail their economy
Society
Keep passports safe: Typical pickpocket scams revealed
Culture
Why coffee in Italy is a culture you must taste to understand
Society
The richest families in Florence in 1427 are still rich today
Culture
So why do pasta-loving Italians live such long lives?
National
Italy's Renzi prepares for stormy autumn
Society
This 104-year-old just saw the sea for the first time
National
Should Rome give up on its 2024 Olympic dream?
Society
The Italian doctor giving hope to thousands of migrants
Culture
Ten 'Italian' dishes that don't actually exist in Italy
Sport
Five Italian athletes going for gold at the Rio Olympics
Travel
Trastevere: From a fiery past to Rome’s souvenir stand
Politics
Think Trump would be a disaster? Just ask the Italians
National
How Brexit has helped to expose Italy’s banking malaise
Politics
After Brexit, keep a close eye on Italy's Five Star Movement
Lifestyle
12 mistakes foreigners make when moving to Italy
National
Why Milan could be Europe's post-Brexit financial hub
Travel
Five crowd-free alternatives to Italy's tourist hotspots
2,748
jobs available