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Rogue drone was disabled during Pope’s Mass in Slovakia

Rogue drone was disabled during Pope’s Mass in Slovakia

TIZIANA FABI | AFP

Zelda Caldwell - published on 12/14/21 - updated on 12/14/21

More than 60,000 faithful, including 90 bishops and 500 priests were in attendance at the September event.

An Israeli company hired to protect Pope Francis during his visit to Slovakia removed a rogue drone that was flying over the open-air Mass celebrated by the Holy Father, reported The Jerusalem Post.

D-Fend, an anti-drone technology company, worked with the Slovakian government to protect the pope during his visit to Slovakia from September 12-15.

During the pope’s trip, the company deployed its Enforce Air product which detected a number of friendly drones that had been authorized to fly. The technology was designed to detect unauthorized “rogue” drones, reported the Jerusalem Post.

When a “do-it-yourself” drone was detected during the open-air Mass in Šaštín, which was attended by Pope Francis, 60,000 faithful, and  90 bishops and 500 priests, D-Fend took steps to remove the threat.

“EnforceAir fended off the rogue drone, sending it back to its original takeoff position, far away from the large crowd,” D-Fend said.

 
 

“Protecting such a high-profile event is of the utmost importance, so we wanted to utilize a counter-drone technology that is best suited for crowded events and sensitive situations,” a representative from D-Fend told the Jerusalem Post.

 “EnforceAir’s innovative solution took control of the rogue drone that threatened the potential safety of the pope, the crowd and the VIPs in attendance, quickly and easily,” said the D-Fend representative.

 

Increasing security threat

Drones have increasingly been a cause of concern and a threat to public safety.

“Drones are posing an increasing threat to national security around the world – to critical infrastructure, civilians, and now to leaders,”the D-Fend representative said in the report,

The company cited recent incidents involving drones that threatened Iraqi Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi and Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.