The drone strikes in Jammu airbase was an act of terror that was aimed at targeting key military assets, Air Chief Marshal RKS Bhadauria said on Friday asserting that the Indian Air Force is in the process of bolstering its capabilities to deal with such security challenges. The Chief of Air Staff said the IAF has carried out a detailed analysis in terms of implications of drones and other similar capabilities falling into the hands of non-state actors, and taking a series of measures to counter them.
“What happened at Jammu was essentially a terrorist act which attempted to target our assets there. The attempt failed of course. The assets were not damaged. Two explosives were used,” he said in an interactive session at a think tank. Explosives-laden drones were used to carry out an attack on the Jammu Air Force station on Sunday in the first such instance of suspected Pakistan-based terrorists deploying unmanned aerial vehicles to strike at vital military installations in India.
The Chief of Air Staff said a detailed investigation into the attacks was underway and that all sets of measures would be on the table based on the findings of the probe. “We have gone over the subject in terms of the implications of this kind of capabilities in the hands of non-state actors and the kind of effect the armed drone capabilities would have in future conflicts,” Air Chief Marshal Bhadauria said.
He said the IAF analysed a large extent the requirements in terms of planning and required systems and infrastructure to enhance its abilities to go for “soft kill” and to have a counter-drone system. “It should be possible to react in the short notice; detect, quickly react and be able to target it and that targeting is essentially directed energy kind of targeting in terror attack kind of a situation,” the IAF Chief said. “All these issues have been looked at and many of the projects have already been undertaken and some of the systems were already fielded,” he said.
He said the Jammu Air Force station did not have critical assets and systems to detect drones were not fielded there Referring to the attacks, he said there was no visibility when the incident took place. “Very soon we will have enough systems and we will target.. we will find ways to tackle this threat,” the Air Chief Marshal said.