An anonymous reader writes "With North Korea's failed missile launch Friday, it is clear many nations around the globe are attempting to acquire missiles that can carry larger payloads and go further. Such moves have made the United States and its allies very nervous. Missile defense has been debated since the 1980's with such debate back once again the headlines. Most missile defense platforms have technical issues and are very expensive. One idea: use drones instead. '... a high-speed (~3.5 to 5.0 km/s), two-stage, hit-to-kill interceptor missile, launched from a Predator-type UAV can defeat many of these ballistic missile threats in their boost phase.' Could a Drone really take down a North Korea missile? 'A physics-based simulator can estimate the capabilities of a high-altitude, long endurance UAV-launched boost-phase interceptor (HALE BPI) launched from an altitude of approximately 60,000 feet. Enabled by the revolution in UAVs, this proposed boost-phase interceptor, based on off-the-shelf technology, can be deployed in operationally feasible stations on the periphery of North Korea.'"