The Indian Air Force (IAF) has initiated a process of acquiring 10 anti-drone systems, news agency ANI reported. The IAF will deploy these systems at different airbases and has asked vendors to provide a multi-sensor, multi-kill solution to enforce effectively, the ANI report further said.
The decision comes days after a drone attack on the IAF base in Jammu. Pakistan based terror group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) is believed to be behind the attack on June 27.
The IAF has said in its Request for Information (RFI) that the indigenous anti-drone system should be Laser-based Directed Energy Weapon. The IAF further has mandated that all the 10 counter unmanned aircraft systems (CUAS) are required in mobile configuration mounted on indigenous vehicles with cross-country capability. They should be able to mount on rooftop/open ground.
Hindustan Times had reported earlier this month that India needs to acquire latest anti-drone technologies as terrorists and Maoists have started using stand-off weapons.
Since 2020, the Border Security Force (BSF) has recorded no less than 99 drone sightings on the western borders – from Jammu and Kashmir to Gujarat.
Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane said last week that drones have emerged as clear and present danger. He said that easy availability of drones allowed both state and non-state actors to use them, increasing the challenges faced by the security forces.
“Drones will increasingly be used in all sorts of combat in future by state and non-state actors. We will have to factor it in our future planning,” the army chief said at a seminar organised by the Global Counter Terrorism Council, a think tank.
He said that building drones was akin to a “DIY project that could be tackled at home”.
Chief of defence staff (CDS) General Bipin Rawat also echoed similar sentiments. “You have to be prepared for all this and yet at the same time send a strong message that if anything of this nature, whether in grey zone or in the hybrid domain, damages our assets and affects our national security, we should reserve the right to respond at a place and time of our choosing and in a manner in which we wish to respond,” Rawat said at the same seminar.
The Jammu attack was the first instance of a drone being used to carry out such an operation in the country by terrorists from across the border.