Jammu airbase blasts: Drones emerge as new threat to defence installations

The attack on an Indian Air Force base in Jammu on Sunday — believed to be the first-ever offensive use of drones to target an Indian military facility — has raised new and serious security concerns in Jammu and Kashmir.

A senior army officer said, “Such unmanned aerial objects laden with explosives can prove lethal for the defence installations in J&K. We all know Pakistan, controlled by its army, would never deviate from its bleed-India campaign. Therefore, it is high time that we seriously pondered over the new threat.”

Of late, Pakistan has been using drones to drop arms, ammunition, weapons, drugs and hawala money in border areas of Jammu and Kashmir to fuel terrorism.

“The Sunday attack in the dead of night is a first of its kind in India and it must ring alarm bells among those at the helm of affairs,” said the officer.

He suggested regulation on sale of drones and other low-flying objects in India.

“We have many defence installations in J&K surrounded by civilian population. Though it remains a subject of probe, in this case, it appeared the drones took off from a nearby locality to carry out the attack. They, however, missed the intended target — the helicopter hangar,” the army officer said.

The Jammu technical airport houses choppers, including Mi17 helicopters and transport aircraft.

The officer could not rule out the possibility of Pakistan’s involvement in the Sunday attack.

“Pakistan started digging trans-border tunnels into plains of Jammu region on the lines of Hamas fighters in 2012 and successfully used them to push armed terrorists into Jammu. Now, drones have emerged as a new threat for us,” he said.

It may be stated here that India has been exploring anti-drone technologies with Israel and has also been developing indigenous technology. While India explores anti-drone technologies, one can easily order and get delivered at the doorstep heavy lift drones with 4K camera from online marketing portals that cost less than 6,000.

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