The use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) or drones by adversaries to smuggle arms, ammunition, drugs, and even to conduct surveillance has emerged as a significant security challenge in the 21st century, especially for countries with long and porous borders like India.
The stealthy nature of UAVs, combined with their increasing accessibility and affordability, makes them an attractive tool for non-state actors and hostile entities.
India has been proactive in implementing a series of countermeasures:
1. Regulatory Framework: The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has issued guidelines for the operation of civil drones in the country. This regulatory framework mandates permissions for flying drones and sets no-fly zones, especially near sensitive areas like borders, military installations, and strategic assets.
2. Drone Detection Systems: India has been working on integrating drone detection radars and sensors along its borders, especially in sensitive areas like Punjab and Jammu & Kashmir, to detect and track unauthorized UAV activity.
3. Anti-Drone Technology: The Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO) has been working on counter-drone technology that can jam the signals of hostile drones, forcing them to return or crash. Some systems can also physically neutralize drones using lasers.
4. Coordination with International Partners: Given that drone technology and its misuse are global concerns, India has been collaborating with other countries, sharing intelligence, and acquiring best practices to counter rogue UAVs.
5. Awareness & Training: Security forces are being trained to detect and counter drone threats. Awareness campaigns are also conducted in border areas, urging locals to report any suspicious UAV activity. Research & Development: Investment in R&D related to drone technology, both for offense and defense, has been a priority. The aim is not just to counter threats but also to have superior technological capabilities.
6. Import Restrictions: The government has placed import restrictions on certain categories of drones, especially from countries perceived as security threats. Aerial Surveillance: India has increased its aerial surveillance using aircraft and helicopters in sensitive areas to act as a deterrent against UAV activities.
7. Enhanced Border Security: Physical patrolling, electronic surveillance, and fortified border posts have been intensified, especially in areas where drone activities have been detected in the past.
8. Legal Actions: Stringent legal actions are taken against any entity found using or facilitating the use of drones for malicious purposes, acting as a deterrent against internal collaborators.
India is taking a multi-faceted approach, combining technology, intelligence, regulations, and international collaboration to safeguard its internal security. Continuous adaptation and upgradation of strategies will be essential as drone technology evolves and adversaries devise new ways to exploit them.