Churchill said the RAF during World War Two were the heroic "few", but we may soon have a new clan of winged warriors to thank for our national survival.
That's because pigeons could soon be sent to fight terrorist drones in an audacious national security effort.
Defence chiefs are increasingly worried about the threat of drones – known by military leaders as Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) – and think pigeons might hold the key to their defeat, the i reported.
An unnamed US company is investigating the potential for the birds to serve on the frontlines of the war on terror.
It's said they will be trained to fly straight at a murderous machine, neutralising an attack at the cost of their own lives.
This is less crazy than it sounds.
Pigeons played a key messaging role during the world wars, and have long been considered viable options for carrying bombs.
In recent years, birds of prey have been trained by defence chiefs to intercept drones, though the results have been mixed at best.
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The 'suicide pigeons' plan shows just how worried military figures are about the coming threat of drone attacks.
A UK military official told the i: “Everyone saw the drone display at the opening ceremony for the Olympics.
"Now imagine those 2,000 or so drones not making pretty pictures but each armed with a smart munition and programmed to seek multiple, interlinked and changing targets – such as an infantry battalion, or even just a crowd.
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"And then imagine that you don’t even need multiple operators of those drones. They are autonomous and you just need to press a button to launch the equivalent of an entire air force.
"That is the sort of capability that is fast coming around the corner.”
An arms race among global powers is ongoing to develop the best anti-drone tech, with the ambitious US firm on the wacky side of a huge financial battle.
Where the answer lies – or how high – will soon become clear.
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