According to an official released document, the Airports Authority of India (AAI) is probably going to acquire two counter-drone systems in 2022-23 that may cost around Rs 9.9 Crore. Counter drone systems are the systems that are capable of detecting and/or intercepting unmanned aircraft systems while in flight. The decision must have come after two bombs were dropped at Indian Air Force Station at Jammu airport in June of this year by rogue drones which also injured two from the workforces.
The Rising Threat Due to Unmanned Aircraft Systems
The Airport systems directorate of AAI released an official document that said a counter-drone system shall provide a multi-sensor-based complete and comprehensive solution when it comes to drone detection, identification, and neutralization. Smit Shah, director-Partnerships at Drone Federation of India (DFI) said earlier in June that India needs more investment in counter-drone research to deal with the matter of attack by rogue operations, the unmanned aircraft technologies. His reaction came after the events that took place in Jammu. He further informed that India has few companies doing research work in the country itself while there are companies partnering up with global vendors.
Earlier in October of 2019, Civil Aviation Ministry also raised concerns over the fact these unmanned drone systems could be a threat to key installations in the country such as Nuclear Plants or Military bases. The ministry also introduced an official document which was titled 'National Counter Rogue Drones Guidelines' which stated the concern over the growth of these drones at an alarming rate. The document also cited the example of the Israel-Lebanon War and how these drones were used by extremist groups to create chaos. It further said that the presence of these drones spotted near civil airports raises safety concerns across the country. The rise in the number of these unmanned drones in the recent past has also increased the level of threat to the VVIPs of the country.
However when it comes to civilian drones, though there is no fixed data on the number of operating drones it is speculated that there are around 4 Lakhs to 6 Lakhs drones in the Indian territory. Majority of the mechanical parts required to make a drone are imported from China and other countries across the globe.