Army opens fire on two drones in Jammu’s Ratnuchak-Kaluchak military area

NEW DELHI: Indian Army troops opened fire on two drones hovering over the Ratnuchak-Kaluchak military area in Jammu, a defence spokesperson said on Monday, a day after drones with improvised explosive devices targeted an Indian Air Force station.

One drone was spotted late on Sunday night, while the second was noticed in the early hours of Monday. Both drones “flew away” after alert sentries fired at them, the spokesman said. An alert was sounded immediately and Quick Reaction Teams of the Army engaged the drones firing at them, Jammu-based Army spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Devender Anand said in a statement.

“Both drones flew away. A major threat was thwarted by the alertness and proactive approach of troops,” he said, adding that the security forces are on high alert and a search operation is in progress.

This led to minor injuries to two IAF personnel. The National Investigation Agency (NIA) is investigating the explosions caused by two low-intensity improvised explosive devices (IEDs) that were dropped from a drone. The explosions took place “close to the helicopter hangar” of the IAF base, according to news reports.

Sunday’s incident is seen as the first attack using drones to target a major military installation in India, drones have been used to drop caches of weapons in Punjab with officials pointing a finger at Pakistan-based terrorist groups like the Lashkar-e-Toiba. All three branches of the Indian military have long been aware of the threat of the use of technology to target their personnel and assets.

The Indian military is still in the process of acquiring anti-drone technology, a person familiar with the matter said on Sunday adding that while technology from abroad was being looked at, the possibility of homegrown technology such as the one developed by the Defence Research and Development Organization is also being considered.

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