The military is helping police after sightings of a drone temporarily halted flights at Heathrow airport on Tuesday.
The object was initially assumed to be a Flybe plane because it was flying in a very shaky fashion and appeared to be going round in circles without really getting anywhere.
A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: “We are deploying specialist equipment to Heathrow Airport at the request of the Metropolitan Police.”
The ‘specialist equipment’ in question consisted of a number of large sticks and bits of gravel from the floor of one of Heathrow’s long-stay car parks.
The Met called for military assistance after their own specially trained officers failed to bring down the drone by pinging elastic bands into the air.
The Met’s Commander Stuart Cundy confirmed military assistance had been brought in but would not discuss tactics in detail.
However, eyewitness reports suggest that the primary tactic involved soldiers balancing on stepladders on the roofs of terminal buildings and waving feather dusters at the sky.
No matter how much they stretched the squaddies were still ‘hundreds of feet’ from the drone, say reports.
This is the second time in three weeks that the military has stepped in to deal with drones at major UK airports.
With military assistance now required on almost a weekly basis the army is updating its recruitment campaign to reflect the gritty reality of airport drone warfare.
A television spot will show a drone in the skies above Heathrow.
A voiceover then poses the question: “How do you bring this down? Surface to air missile? Apache helicopter strike? Or…”
A soldier then walks up to a man holding a drone remote control.
“Sorry mate, you can’t do that here,” he says.
The voiceover then concludes: “Army – be the best.”