Following Sunday’s drone terror attack in Jammu, the government is likely to rework on the regulations for unmanned aircraft systems. Drones are the modern-day force multiplier that can enhance the capabilities of security forces and enemies alike to contain, spread and counter terror. It has also become an integral part of operations such as mapping, surveying, equipment inspection, and analyze difficult-to-monitor areas.
A senior government official said that current drone rules are sufficient to get information into system about drones from the manufacturer or importer to end users. “However, rogue drone will always be non-compliant. But yes, tightened regulations are required to create deterrence.”
Air Vice Marshall Sunil Nanodkar (retired), a former assistant chief of air staff, said steps need to be taken to deal with the drone threat. “It appears to be a trial run by the adversary to gauge India’s capability to detect small targets that can fly across the border and target Indian installations,” he said. “We need to beef up our surveillance capabilities, especially to pick up radar signatures of small drones that are capable of causing significant damage. The military also needs to invest in anti-drone capability.”
The Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has developed anti-drone technology to disable or shoot down hostile drones. The anti-drone system, which was deployed during 2020 Republic Day and Independence Day, has a range of two to three kilometers with radar capability to pick up the drone and then use frequencies to jam the unmanned aerial vehicle.
It should be noted that the Indian government, following the drone attack on two major Saudi Arabian oil installations in 2019, had expedited the process to come out with guidelines to counter rouge drones. It formed a committee which was chaired by the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DCGA), Intelligence Bureau, DRDO, the Airports Authority of India, Central Industrial Security Force and the National Security Guard.
The committee’s report, as per The Indian Express, said that in the military domain, small drones have been proliferating at a rate that has alarmed battlefield commanders and planners alike. “In certain incidents, the small drones were also armed with explosive ordnance, to convert them into potentially lethal guided missiles, thus demonstrating the growing sophistication with which these potent warriors have found relevance in combat zones,” it said.