India has outlined the system and technology to tackle “rogue drones” and soon a massive and comprehensive anti-drone policy will be implemented to avert terrorist attacks like the one that occurred Sunday at Jammu Air Force Station, according to high-ranking sources.
At a high-level meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi today, measures and strategies to counter “armed drones used for terrorist purposes against strategic and commercial assets” were discussed. The meeting was attended by Defense Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, among others.
In what is believed to be the first use of drones in a terrorist attack on an Indian military facility, two explosions occurred at an air base on Sunday.
Two Indian Air Force personnel were lightly injured in the blasts that took place just before 2 am at a heavily guarded airport located about 14 km from the border with Pakistan.
A senior official revealed, “Across the northwest sector (Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab), there is a need to deploy an anti-drone system. A comprehensive policy of national interest is being developed.”
The government decided that the Indian Air Force would be the nodal agency to deal with such technology.
“The government wants the Air Force to take the lead in coordinating all efforts on how we will evolve against drones in the future,” the official said, adding that a range of technologies and techniques will be used for this purpose.
“There is no global policy for dealing with rogue drones, so a range of technologies should be used depending on the viability of an asset,” he explained. Assistance will also be sought from the national technical research organisation, India’s Technological Intelligence Agency.
Deployment models will consist of primary and passive detection means, including radio frequency (RF) detectors, photoelectric and infrared cameras, radars, drone capture networks, GPS attenuators, lasers, and soft and hard kill procedures. Such as radio frequency jammers.
After Sunday’s attack, the Departments of Civil Aviation and Home Affairs will review existing regulations regarding unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).
“The ambiguity surrounding the launch of the drones needs to be addressed,” a senior Interior Ministry official said.
The Border Security Force is working on a self-contained ground platform capable of detecting lone suspicious flying objects or groups of unmanned aircraft (UAVs) and responding quickly. The Indian army has already been given the green light to acquire artificial intelligence-equipped drones that can be deployed during such attacks.
“Recent events have shown how terrorist groups have turned small drones into explosives. Therefore, the urgency of acquiring drones equipped with artificial intelligence was felt,” an Interior Ministry official said.