With drones emerging as a serious security threat in Jammu & Kashmir, the central security establishment is looking to test some advanced global anti-drone systems, including Israel’s laser technology-based solutions, and have them deployed within the next couple of months at vital installations in the Union territory as well as the border with Pakistan.
According to sources, while some of the anti-drone systems, currently available with various agencies like NSG and NTRO, are already being installed and tested at locations like the Jammu airport as well as some select border stretches, the larger plan is to extend the deployment of anti-drone technologies designed to detect, intercept and inactivate drones within a possible 5-6 km range, to vital or key security installations within J&K, apart from using them to secure the border with Pakistan.
“This will help not only tackle drones being sent with payloads like the one used in the recent attack on Jammu IAF base, but also those detected so far carrying weapons, narcotics and even ready-to-use IEDs,” said a source.
The source revealed that the IED recovered from a terrorist arrested in Jammu on the very day drones were used to attack the IAF facility there was also delivered by a drone sent from across the border. “This shows that there may be proper control-rooms just across the border to launch the kind of sophisticated, ‘micro’ drones used to bomb the IAF facility on June 27,” said an officer.
The threat of drones is also from terrorists based within J&K. “Drones already in possession of civilians in J&K are being seized. Though their purpose is often explained as wedding or tourism photography, the threat of they being launched by terrorists or overground workers cannot be ruled out,” said an intelligence officer.
Sources said Indian agencies are keen to test Israel’s advanced anti-drone systems, including Iron Dome technologies, that can detect and intercept drones with good precision. “The target is to test these systems over a week or two and have them installed to cover vital installations and the western border in the following couple of months. The systems available have a range of destroying drones within a range of 5-6 km to as far as 30 km,” said a source in the Central security establishment.
Meanwhile, the drone threat was discussed at a security review meeting on J&K chaired by home secretary Ajay Bhalla here on Tuesday. Other issues deliberated at the meeting – attended by heads of Central intelligence agencies and para-military forces including CRPF, CISF and J&K police brass – included the upcoming infiltration season, border security, general security scenario, telephone signal overlaps and multiple SIMs getting into wrong hands.