A high-level meeting was chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday in the wake of drone attack at Jammu air force station and sightings of more unmanned aircraft system (UAS) in the region. Discussions were held on expeditious framing of a broad-based policy to deal with emerging security threats and futuristic challenges facing the country.
Aspects such as airspace management, the regulatory framework for the use of drones, their utility as future delivery systems, air passages in which they can be allowed to operate and security issues were discussed at the meeting, HT has learnt.
The meeting was attended by Union home minister Amit Shah, defence minister Rajnath Singh, civil aviation minister Hardeep Puri and national security adviser Ajit Doval.
The defence ministry and the three services will play a leading role in the formulation of the policy. Air defence units of the Indian Air Force (IAF) are responsible for monitoring all manned and unmanned air operations in the country’s airspace.
The three forces have been told to adequately focus on bridging the gaps in effectively dealing with new-age challenges such as drone attacks and go for the procurement of the necessary hardware to contain those, news agency PTI reported.
The meeting in Delhi also discussed various other aspects, including equipping the security forces with modern equipment and involving more youngsters, start-ups and the strategic community in the field, according to PTI.
The news agency further reported that the three service chiefs, as well as key national security planners, will hold a series of meetings in the next few weeks and months to speed up the work on the policy.
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) chief G Satheesh Reddy ahs already said that his organisation has the counter-drone technology that could provide the armed forces with the capability to swiftly detect, intercept and destroy the small UAS that pose a security threat.
He said DRDO’s anti-drone system would give the military both “soft kill” and “hard kill” options to tackle the new and fast-emerging aerial threat.
Meanwhile, following the Jammu attack, the Indian Air Force has enhanced the security at all its bases located in the border areas. Director general of Jammu and Kashmir Police Dilbag Singh has that Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), a terror outfit based in Pakistan, is suspected to be responsible for the attack.