Within the wee hours of June 27, certainly one of India’s most crucial navy installations, the high-security Air Pressure Station in Jammu, turned sufferer of a ‘novel’ weaponised drone assault. The assault was first of its variety and is being seen as a precursor of issues to return. The June 27 twin drone assault was masterminded and executed by terrorists within the Shakargarh sector focusing on Air visitors management, radar and parked helicopters.
Not seen as mere nuisance, weaponised drones have the power to drop bombs, fireplace missiles and crash armed UAVs into the goal.
The Unmanned Aerial Programs’ (UAS) market within the nation is pegged at $866 million, and globally it’s estimated to be $21.47 billion. With double-quick alterations now doable on the drone construction, apart from bolstered payload know-how and shrinking of assorted components, the menace stage is large and the duty is difficult. The sheer variety of the UAS, their totally different sizes, flight traits, capabilities, efficiency parameters, mission and vulnerabilities, make it troublesome for India to beat this problem.
Ever because the Coronavirus outbreak on the finish of 2019, the Indian forces have recorded near 100 sightings on India’s western borders – from Jammu and Kashmir to Gujarat. To make issues worse, these drones have been sighted within the japanese area which is impacted by the Maoist extremism.
Is India’s anti-rogue drone infrastructure battle-ready?
The assault has shifted the main target to the evident gaps in India’s border safety. Defence Analysis and Improvement Organisation (DRDO) is engaged on growing anti-drone ‘Swadeshi’ know-how to safe the border areas and foil any terrorist makes an attempt.
Whereas the nationwide safety council secretariat (NSC), which advises the PMO on nationwide safety and strategic pursuits, has been acutely aware of the menace posed by terror drones to Indian safety for fairly a couple of years, the method to accumulate applied sciences to counter the menace is kind of tedious and cumbersome. Until date, solely a request for data (RFI) has been floated for acquisition of anti-drone applied sciences.
India solely has a restricted variety of anti-drone know-how makers, which embody DRDO, Bharat Electronics Restricted as authorities undertakings, amongst others, with Zen Applied sciences and ACSG Corp lively as non-public entities.
A big-scale, inclusive public-private-partnership (PPP), in keeping with a number of consultants, must be the way in which ahead.
Area for personal gamers
In early July, instantly after the assault on the bottom in Jammu, the BSF, in collaboration with the Ministry of Electronics and Data Expertise (MeitY), launched BSF Hello-tech Endeavor for Maximising Innovation (BHUMI) to search out appropriate techniques to detect and destroy drones and tunnels with the assistance from Indian firms. In the intervening time, BSF is exploring a pool of 500 non-public Indian firms to search out options. The initiative is a part of the Atmanirbhar Bharat mission.
Anti-Drone System from Zen Applied sciences works on drone detection, Classification and monitoring on passive surveillance, digital camera sensors and neutralization of the menace by jamming the Drone communication. ACSG Corp., a essential infrastructure safety firm, can also be constructing related know-how. Its high-powered jammers, the corporate has claimed, can deal with multilayered threatsat as soon as.
Main Vijay, the spokesperson of ACSG Corp identified that “a 360-degree superior radar system can observe intruding drones from a 2-km vary, thereby lowering and eradicating the perceived menace even earlier than it makes an influence.”
These firms are additionally anticipated to assist in discovering communication options at locations the place there isn’t any community, apart from detecting unauthorised communications in useless zones.
Method ahead – Indigenous or overseas know-how?
The present counter-drone know-how is restricted, and largely sourced and licensed from developed international locations. That is primarily as a result of there’s little or no belief in Indian know-how.
Traditionally, India has been assembly its necessities from Israel and the US. However this pattern is altering, because it ought to, with the Authorities placing emphasis on know-how developed by home gamers. There’s sufficient and extra potential at house and the Authorities is starting to put emphasis on the identical.
Working example? The IAF lately positioned an order value Rs 155 crore for anti-drone platforms or Counter Unarmed Plane System (CUAS). The contract was given to the Hyderabad-based Zen Applied sciences.
Holding with the ‘make in India’ philosophy, the Indian armed forces have already authorised contracts to Indian firms for making anti-drone techniques that’s value over Rs 300 crores.
Can India grow to be a counter-drone know-how export hub? The reply is easy. Sure, nevertheless, provided that extra non-public firms are introduced onboard to deal with the problem.