Last month drones were used to drop explosives at the Jammu Air Force Station, which was reportedly the first-ever attack in India where suspected terrorists had used drones. In return, DRDO performed an ‘urgent demonstration’ of its anti-drone system for Indian Armed forces. In that light, let’s know more about where the nation stands in anti-drone technology.
Crux of the Matter
Use Of Drones In Warfare
As per the US Army, the first attempted drone attack by a terror group was in 1994, when a cult, Aum Shinrikyo, used a remote-controlled helicopter to spray sarin gas, which failed as the helicopter crashed.
Prominent Global Attacks
In 2018, a swarm of 13 drones attacked 2 Russian military bases in Syria. The same year, an assassination attempt was made on the President of Venezuela, Nicolãs Maduro, using 2 IED-carrying (improvised explosive device) drones.
What About Our Experience?
As per the Indian Express, 100-150 sightings of suspected surveillance drones are seen near India’s western border annually. India has been exploring tech to disable them using electromagnetic charge or shoot them down using laser.
Problems Faced Till Now
- A tech wall can stop incoming drones from across the border, but attacks can be launched from within as well.
- Swarm drones, consisting of a larger number of drones, confuse detection systems, which allows many of them to sneak through.
DRDO’s Detect And Destroy Tech
Developed in 2019, this tech has capabilities for hardkill – destroying a drone with laser within 150 m to 1 km, and softkill – jamming a drone’s signals within 3 km. It has a 360° radar that can detect micro drones up to 4 km.
Has It Been Used Yet?
Yes. The Counter-Drone System has been deployed for VVIP protection in events like the Republic Day parades in 2020 and 2021, and former POTUS Trump’s visit to Motera Stadium, Ahmedabad last year.
When Will We Use It In Military?
Last year the, Navy got 2 unarmed SeaGuardian Predator drones on lease from the US. In 2021 Army Day parade, the Army showcased its swarm tech, wherein 75 drones destroyed simulated targets.
Existing Anti-Drone Systems
- Russia’s Carnivora – Capable of attacking and incapacitating other UAVs and drones.
- Israel’s Drone Dome – Works similar to its rocket defense system, Iron Dome.
- US’ Dronehunter – Fires from its spider web shaped ‘NetGun’ to capture targets in air and tow them.
- DJI is the largest producer of commercial drones in the world. It is headquartered in Shenzhen, China.