Building drones is akin to ‘DIY project’, says army chief

Easy availability of drones allow both state and non-state actors to use them and this increases the complexity of challenges faced by security forces, Gen Naravane said

Naravane
Army chief General MM Naravane | File Photo

Easy availability of drones allow both state and non-state actors to use them and this increases the complexity of challenges faced by security forces, Army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane said on Thursday, days after the drone attack on Jammu air force station.

Building drones is akin to “DIY project that could be tackled at home”, Gen Naravane said.

The June 27 attack in Jammu was the first-ever offensive use of drones to target an Indian military facility. Since then drones have been sighted in the Union Territory every day this week.

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“Drones will increasingly be used in all sorts of combat in future by state and non-state actors. We will have to factor it in our future planning,” the army chief said.

Steps are being taken to counter the drone threat, he said.

“We are developing the capability to deal with this threat in both kinetic and non-kinetic realms. Troops have also been sensitised to the evolving threat… We are focusing on offensive use of drones as well as using counter-drone technology to tackle the threat,” the general said.

Also read: Jammu attack calls for robust counter-drone detection tech: Experts

The technology used in the Jammu attack indicated “state support and the possible involvement of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed and Lashkar-e-Taiba terror groups”, Lieutenant General DP Pandey, who heads the Srinagar-based HQs 15 Corps, said on Wednesday.

The army and the IAF have tightened security and activated countermeasures at their forward bases to pre-empt such aerial attacks. Pandey said there appeared to be an “element of guidance from state actors” to modify the drones for aerial attacks.

Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat on Monday said the three services, the Defence Research and Development Organisation, academia and other stakeholders were working together to develop technology to counter the threat from drones.

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