The enemy tried their luck again when more drones were launched towards the Jammu Air Force Station at midnight of June 27-28 2021. According to an official statement on Monday (June 28, 2021), “A major threat was thwarted by the alertness and proactive approach of troops. Following the spotting of two separate drone activities over Ratnuchak- Kaluchak Military area, the security forces are now on high alert.”
“Though both drones flew away, Quick Reaction Teams had engaged them with firing. And, High alert has been sounded and search operation is in progress.”
Drone Attack on Sunday
“The use of Drones by the enemy is to mainly show its reach inside India. The coordinates from Google Maps could have been used to launch the drones. Also, there was minimum human involvement in the RDX-type primary explosives, which weighed around 5-6 kg on each drone,” explained a source.
And according to reports these were possibly dropped from a height of 100 mts. So far specialised military radars are tuned to detect fast-moving aircraft. These radars are not able to detect drones because of their tiny radar cross-section and the fact that they have a top speed of just 60 kmph.
What is the target at the Jammu Air Force Station?
In the first ever attack on a military establishment in India, the Mi-17 helicopters at the Jammu Air Force Station could have been the target on Sunday. The explosives were dropped close to the aircraft hangers, which has led to this speculation that the helicopters could have been the target.
There are no fighters based in Jammu Air Force Station, which is home to Mi-17 helicopters and transport aircraft. These are protected by multilayered security and are located far away from the perimeter. These steps ensure that no assets get damaged in case any attacks are launched.
Is India prepared for drone attacks?
This is a grey zone. The possibility of attacking military air bases, other critical facilities in the country as well as large public gatherings by these drones is something Indian forces have to focus on.
There have been several attempts by the enemy to launch such attacks, and Indian forces are gradually building their capabilities to counter such attacks.
As has been reported earlier, the Pakistan Army since 2018 has been deploying small drones along the Line of Control (LoC). Since then there have been internal discussions about the possible drone attacks by the enemy and the strategy to deal with them. The enemy has earlier used these drones for dropping arms and ammunition to terror networks in Jammu & Kashmir and Punjab. For the first time they have tried to hit the military facility.
As has been reported by Financial Express Online earlier, the Indian Armed Forces are still in the process of acquiring anti-drone technology in large numbers.
India has purchased the Smash-2000 fire control system from Israel’s SMART SHOOTER that can be used to thwart a drone attack.
There has been a threat of Drone attacks looming since early 2020, and for the first time the Anti-Drone technology was used during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s address from the rampart of Red Fort in 2020. This has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). And has designated Bharat Electronics as the lead agency for development and production of these for the armed forces. This system has now been made mandatory for Prime Minister Modi’s security.
More about the Anti-Drone Technology
The DRDO has developed passive and active anti-drone technology. This can be used for either disabling or shooting down enemy drones.
This indigenous system has a range of 2-3 kms and radar capability to pick up the drone. Then this system uses frequencies to jam the unmanned aerial vehicle. It also has the capability to spot the drone through the radar and target them by laser beam to bring it down. This system has been tested successfully along the LoC to repel aerial attacks.
As reported in Financial Express Online earlier, the drone technology has evolved to a point of sophistication. Besides carrying out surveillance and reconnaissance operations, these can now be outfitted with precision-guided munitions and used in combat roles.
According to experts for future drone centered operations, there is an urgent need for anti-drone technology to be evolved by the private drone manufacturers.