Chandigarh: Amid increased incidents of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles bringing drugs, arms, and ammunition from across the border in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir, the Indian Army is preparing to counter drones sent from Pakistan.
General Officer Commanding in Chief Indian Army’s Western Command Lt Gen Nav Kumar Khanduri said, “There are preparations going on to counter drones sent from across the border. Recently, as informed by BSF, 7-8 drones were shot down near the Punjab border. They recovered narcotics and other things from them.”
He was speaking to the media during the 6th Military Literature Festival organised by the Indian Army where various kinds of weapons were exhibited.
The Border Security Force (BSF) has shot down a record 16 drones so far this year and the force has adopted an anti-drone system and in-depth patrolling to tackle the menace that poses security threats.
Speaking on the sidelines of the annual press briefing, BSF Director General Pankaj Singh said the force hasn’t yet achieved complete success on the drone front but there have been major achievements this year due to three-four measures adopted by the force.
“As we see the new challenge on the border in terms of drones, we haven’t yet achieved success on that level if we talk about the issue in one go. That’s why we have tried three-four ways and it is giving very good results,” BSF DG said.
“We have installed some anti-drone systems on some specific locations (along the India-Pakistan border). As the border is very wide, an anti-drone system cannot be installed at all places. The system would be installed at more places one by one.”
Besides, Singh said BSF has started three-four km of in-depth patrolling so that the person trying to pick up the illegal items dropped by these drones can be caught. “We have also given very good incentives to our Jawans who shoot these drones. Due to these efforts, we have shot down 16 drones this year till November whereas only one drone was shot down last year. The number of drones shot down by the force till the end of this year may increase to 25,” he added.
Asked whether the drones shot down by the BSF are Chinese or locally manufactured, Singh said drones are available in the market. Singh said big drones are used for smuggling huge amounts of drugs or arms and ammunition. Giving the example of big drones shot down by the BSF two days ago, Singh said those were “fabricated” drones and were manufactured at a “local level”.
“Propellers and wings are available in the market for manufacturing drones,” he said. Women personnel of the BSF shot down a Hexacopter drone weighing 18.050 kg near Chaharpur village in Amritsar (Rural) district in Punjab when it was entering Indian territory from Pakistan. The drone was carrying 3.110 kg of narcotics.
The BSF DG also pointed out that information can be gathered from the chip analysis of these drones. “With the analysis of the chips in the drones, we can get details about the route taken by it and its flying zone, as well as its origin. We will get more success after analysis of the chips used in these drones,” he said. “We (BSF) are doing quite a bit on the anti-drone front. We’ve deployed systems on borders that have been very effective and useful. We’re testing out new technology also to detect these drones and we have joined hands with state police for extra deployment.”
Several cases have been reported where drones coming from Pakistan side have dropped consignments of drugs, guns and money in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab. Recently on November 24, Jammu and Kashmir Police recovered a consignment of weapons and Indian currency that were dropped by a Pakistani drone in the Samba district of Jammu.
In a first, the Indian Army has trained kites to prey on enemy drones and they were shown in action during the ongoing joint training exercise Yuddh Abhyas of India and US in Uttarakhand’s Auli. A kite named “Arjun” trained to prey on enemy drones was shown in action during the ongoing joint training exercise.
During the exercise, the Indian Army created a situation, in which the Indian Army used a kite and a dog to identify the location of enemy drones and destroy them. In this, the dog alerts the Indian Army after hearing the sound of the drone. Whereas the kite works to identify the location of the enemy’s drone and circumcise it in the air. Indian Army troops are using trained Kites to prey on enemy drones in a first-of-its-kind usage of these birds. Indian Army is using trained Kites along with dogs for military operations, Army officials said. Such a capability can help the security forces to tackle the menace of drones coming from across the border to Indian areas in Punjab and Jammu and Kashmir.