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Reinventing Border Management: Drone Threat in Border Areas

  • Category
    Internal Security
  • Published
    15th Oct, 2019

Two Pakistani drones dropping weapons in Punjab has sent security forces into a tizzy and raised questions on drone threats to national security.

Context

Two Pakistani drones dropping weapons in Punjab has sent security forces into a tizzy and raised questions on drone threats to national security.

About

  • Punjab government recovered two drones used in dropping weapons from across the border. Later one more drone was seen flying over Indian border in Punjab.
  • Enemy drones dropped communication hardware, AK-47 rifles, counterfeit currency and narcotics in Punjab.
  • The Punjab Police exposed a terrorist module of the revived Khalistan Zindabad Force(KZF), backed by a Pakistan and Germany based terror group that was conspiring to unleash a series of terror strikes in Punjab and other adjoining states.
  • The recent flying of Pakistani drones and dropping weapons in Punjab have exposed the vulnerability of India to Saudi-Arabia like lethal drone attacks. For this purpose the border management reinvention is needed as drone threat has alerted Indian security and intelligence agencies.
  • There are over 6 lakh unregulated drones, of various sizes and capacities present in the country and anyone of them can be used for launching a nefarious act by disruptive elements. They are "potential threats" to vital installations, sensitive locations and specific events and a "compatible solution" is required to counter them.

Reinventing Border Management-Use of anti-drone techniques

  • Drone Gun: A drone gun is capable of jamming the radio, global positioning system (GPS) and mobile signal between the drone and the pilot and forces the drone to ground in good time before it could wreak any damage
  • Sky Fence: It uses a range of signal disruptors to jam the flight path and prevent them from entering their target, a sensitive installation or event venue.
  • ATHENA: It is an acronym for Advanced Test High Energy Asset, is another weapon under analysis as it works by firing a high energy laser beam on a rogue drone resulting in its complete destruction in the air. However, this is a very costly technology and is being currently tested by the US army.
  • Drone Catcher: It swiftly approaches an enemy drone and grabs it by throwing a net around. Such a tool is required when a rogue drone is needed to be captured safely to extract incriminating evidence from it.
  • Skywall 100: It is the ground version of the 'drone catcher' and it works by bringing down an UAV using a parachute that is hurled through a net from 100 meters distance.

Steps Taken by the Government

  • Two separate Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD) on anti-drone technology and Ministry of Civil Aviation (MCA) appointed task forces are now mulling on priority areas that need to be armed with counter-drone weapons and the cost estimation to procure suitable gadgets.

Conclusion

While Israel and USA are leaders in UAV technology and operations, the Indian UAV programme is in its infancy. Going by the example of the Light Combat Aircraft (LCA), the production of an Indian combat mission capable UAV is at least a couple of decades away. To meet that challenge, it would be prudent to establish a joint venture for the production of UAVs in India under the Strategic Partnership programme.

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