Drones dropped 2 kg highly explosive IEDs on Jammu Air Force station | 10 points

a group of people standing in a parking lot: Jammu drone attack on air force station

Jammu drone attack on air force station

Highly explosive “impact” IEDs were used for the drone attack on the Indian Air Force (IAF) station in Jammu, security agencies have told India Today.

Two unmanned and remote-controlled vehicles (UAVs) dropped explosives close to a Mi-17 hanger on the intervening night of June 26-27. Two IAF personnel were injured in the explosions that took place within a gap of five minutes.

This is the first time that UAVs have been used to strike a vital installation in India.

Also See: Drone spotted at Kaluchak military station in Jammu


1. Impact IED used in drone attack

Security agencies have told India Today that IEDs that get triggered on impact were used in the drone attack on Jammu Air Force Station. An “impact” IED explodes when it comes into contact with the ground or surface with force.

Speaking to India Today, an official on Monday said around 2 kg of explosives were used in each of the two IEDs (improvised explosive device).

The official said highly explosive content was used in the IEDs along with shrapnel. The official said forensic tests had been done and results were likely to be out in 42-48 hours.

2. Use of RDX suspected

Security agencies also said they suspected the use of RDX in the drone attack on Jammu IAF base. A preliminary probe has raised suspicion over the use of RDX in the IED attack. Samples have been sent for lab tests, an official said. He said the picture would be clear in a day or two once the results are out.

RDX is not available in India. It is sourced from Pakistan. This evidence can help nail Pakistan’s role in the attack.

Also See: Drone strike on Jammu air base: Did India know about the threat?

3. Low-flying drones used to target military base

As per an initial assessment report, low-flying drones were used to drop explosives at the air base to avoid being detected by radar. Sources, however, said no remnants of a drone were found at the Air Force station after the attack. Only splinters and remnants of explosives used in the blast have been recovered as of yet.

Top sources in the security establishment on Sunday told India Today, “A drone seems to have been used to drop IEDs. This was not on the periphery but near the helipad area.” The possible target of the attack was the aircraft parked in the dispersal area, they said.

In the past as well, drones were used to drop weapons but couldn’t be detected by the radar. This is, however, the first drone attack on any defence establishment in the country.

4. Were drones launched from close proximity?

Following the drone attack in Jammu, investigators scanned CCTV footage, including from cameras installed on the boundary walls of the airport, to determine its flight path.

Drones cannot be detected by radars deployed at border areas to monitor enemy activity, they said, suggesting that a different radar system that can detect drones as small as a bird be installed.

The drones dropped the explosive material and were either flown back across the border or to some other destination during the night, the officials said. The aerial distance from the Jammu airport to the international border is 14 km.

5. Any arrests made in drone attack case?

Two suspects were on Sunday detained in Satwari area of Jammu near the Air Force station in connection with the blasts. They two persons were picked up for questioning, police said.

An FIR was also registered under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act after two explosives-laden drones crashed into the IAF station at Jammu airport. The case is being investigated by the terror probe agency NIA.

“The NIA is already supervising the investigation at the scene of the blast after joining the probe,” one of the officials said.

A National Security Guard team and Special Forces team also reached the station on Sunday to collect evidence.

6. Security establishment closely monitoring situation

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Sunday morning spoke to the Vice Air Chief and Air Marshal HS Arora about the Jammu drone attack. Indian Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria, meanwhile, is also constantly monitoring the situation.

Necessary instructions have been passed to officers on the ground for a probe into the incident. Western Air Commander Air Marshal VR Chaudhari is on the ground, senior IAF officials said.

7. A recap of what happened in Jammu on Sunday

Two explosions rocked the high-security technical area of Air Force Station Jammu on the intervening night of June 26-27. The explosions took place within a span of five minutes in the early hours of Sunday; the first blast ripped off the roof of a building at 1.37 am while the second one was on the ground at 1.42 am.

“Use of drones with payload in both the blasts at Jammu airfield suspected to drop the explosive material. Police have registered an FIR and investigation is on,” DGP Dilbagh Singh said.

The drone was used only to drop the IEDs. Once the payload was dropped, the drone returned to wherever it came from, sources added.

On June 24, an alert that terrorists may carry out drone attacks was issued in Kashmir.

Also See: J&K cop, wife killed by terrorists in Pulwama

8. Explosions were deafening, we were shocked, say Jammu residents

People living around the Indian Air Force station in Jammu woke up to the deafening sounds of explosions on Sunday as drones dropped two bombs at the vital military installation. “We woke up to deafening sounds. It rocked the entire area, and people were shocked,” Inderjeet Singh, who stays in a locality along the air force station, said.

Hearing the explosions, several people from areas such as Belicharana, Karan-Bagh, Gaddigar, Boharcamp and Satwari reached the Air Force station, despite Covid restrictions, with no idea that it had been hit by drones.

9. Nearby air bases on alert

Three main airports – Srinagar airport, Srinagar technical airport and Awantipora air base – were put on high alert after the blasts. Ambala and Pathankot air force stations were also put on alert in the morning. All flight operations at Jammu airport are normal.

10. The drone threat

The capability of drones to evade radar, wreak devastation at strategic installations and transport weapons to terrorists has been a continuous concern for the country’s security establishment, officials said.

The defence and internal security matrix of the country has been talking about threats posed by small and remote-controlled unmanned vehicles for the last two to three years with occasional incidents of Pakistan-sponsored armed drones being neutralised by the Border Security Force (BSF), the Punjab Police and other agencies along the India-Pakistan border.

A proper standard operating procedure (SOP) is in the making, with the IAF supposed to be the first responder and the snipers of the CISF and the commando force, National Security Guard (NSG), desired to chip in case of an emergent threat.

“We need a comprehensive plan and plan of action to check the menace of drones. Every agency, be it at the borders or in cities or airports, needs to have specific responsibility along with required technology tools,” a senior officer in the security establishment said.

“The latest Jammu air force station incident has magnified the challenge,” the officer said.

Also Read | Why the Jammu airbase attack is worrying

Also Read | Jammu air base attack: Agencies suspect terrorists launched drones from close proximity


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.