The security forces are on high alert in Jammu after more drone-sighting near the Air Force Station. For the first time ever the drones coming from across the border hit a military target. And according to sources the target was the Air Traffic Control (ATC) Tower and not the Mi-17 Helicopters which are based there.
More drones have been spotted flying over several military areas around the Jammu Air Force Station including — Kunjwani Chowk, Kaluchak, Sanjuwan on Tuesday and today too.
The National Security Guard (NSG) has been keeping a stock of the situation. It has been decided that besides special lights for better visibility, Anti-Drone Systems will be soon deployed. According to sources, “Anti Drone System which has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is likely to be used. DRDO has transferred the technology to the Defence PSU Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) for the production of the system.”
The Indian Air Force (IAF) will be the nodal authority once the Anti-Drone Technology system has been acquired and in the future is likely to coordinate efforts on countering weaponized drones attacks.
What is the DRDO’s Anti-drone Technology?
This will help in identifying and eliminating aerial threats. And could provide the Indian Armed Forces an advantage in intercepting, detecting and destroying the enemy drones. The system uses a laser-based kill mechanism to detect and destroy the drones in the air.
It has the capability of detecting and neutralizing UAVs, and the radar system offers 360-degree coverage.
As has been reported by Financial Express Online, the system can identify and jam micro drones up to 3 kilometers away and shoot laser signals at targets up to 1-2.5 kilometers away. With the help of Electro-optical/infrared (EO/IR) sensors this system can detect drones up to 2 km away. A radio frequency (RF) detector can detect RF communications up to 3 km away.
According to reports, DRDO’s RF/Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) detects the frequency which is being used by the controller and then the signals are jammed.
As has been reported by Financial Express Online, to tackle fast-emerging aerial threats the DRDO anti-drone technology system can provide both “soft kill” and “hard kill” options to the Indian Armed Forces.
What are Soft Kill and Hard Kill?
Mere jamming of hostile drones is referred to as ‘Soft kill’ and ‘Hard kill’ uses a laser-based destruction method.
Since 2020, the DRDO system has been deployed during Independence Day 2020, Republic Day Celebrations 2021 and was also used when the former US President Donald Trump visited Ahmedabad in March 2020.
Drone policy for India soon
There is no universal policy to deal with rogue drones in the country and soon the Ministry of Home Affairs and Civil Aviation are expected to review the existing regulations which are related to unmanned aircraft systems.
Following a drone attack on June 27, a comprehensive counter-drone strategy is in the works to avert attacks like the one that happened at the Jammu airbase.
On Tuesday evening (June 29, 2021), Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired a meeting attended by Cabinet ministers including Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah, and National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval, among others. The main agenda of the meeting was to expedite the process of devising a drone policy for India.
Also on the agenda were the measures and strategies to be used in the future to counter “weaponised drones used for terror purposes against strategic and commercial assets”.
The drone attack and subsequent spotting of the drones around the Air Force Station is suspected to be the work of Pakistan-based terrorists group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). Soon after the attack on Sunday, the Jammu and Kashmir Police had arrested an alleged Lashkar-e-Taiba operative who had in his possession an improvised explosive device (IED) weighing nearly 5 kg in Jammu.