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The early deployment of anti-drone systems like the SkyWall 100 and the DroneGun Tactical CHIMAERA anti-drone system, created using French technology, is thought to be a priority for Home Minister Amit Shah. In order to combat rogue drones, sources claim that Bharat Electrical Limited’s anti-drone radar is also being considered.

The drones in the new fleet of Indian agencies are probably capable of jamming a rogue UAV’s transmission to take away its controls, and they could have a range of up to 400 metres. The Indian surveillance drones, which were put through their paces by the MHA-established Anti Rogue Drone Technology Committee, would also be able to net a Pakistani drone.

The Centre has been prompted to seek input from the Defence Research Development Organisation, Border Security Force, Narcotics Control Bureau, and other intelligence agencies on how to move forward with suggestions to set up an advanced drone forensic lab in Amritsar by the growing activities of Pakistani drug smugglers and ISI-backed terror operatives on the western border, according to sources.

The projected cutting-edge Regional Drone Forensic Lab’s cutting-edge forensic capabilities “may help trace the origin, destination, and route maps of rogue drones,” a representative stated.

The focus on countering Pakistan and enforcing “zero tolerance” against drug smuggling by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Shah is also driving the think tank in the intelligence and security setup to look for start-ups and academic institutions that can assist Indian security agencies in outperforming Pakistani UAVs and developing counter mechanisms to combat upcoming drone threats.

An official stated that “some start-ups involved in developing agri-drones may also be roped in,” and that a standard operating procedure (SOP) for drones involving organisations like the BSF and other enforcement organisations, including police forces, is also being improved for action.

Currently, Pakistani drones are intercepted by security organisations, such as the BSF, by firing at them. The likelihood of such measures being successful is still minimal, and the rogue UAVs frequently manage to flee with their payload—which is typically draped beneath the flying machine—unharmed.

The border region of Punjab is where the drug problem is most severe. Between July 2022 and July 2023, 795 cases were filed under the NDPS Act in the Firozpur district alone. According to the state government, 51 drones have been neutralised in Punjab since 2019 and 491 drone sightings have been reported there.

According to government data, BSF operations in Punjab’s frontier regions have so far resulted in the recovery of 30 drones, 260 kg of heroin, 19 firearms, 30 magazines, and 470 bullets.

Chinese-made quadcopters of the DJI Matrice 300RTK series were among the UAVs that the BSF recovered.

Many rogue drones were found to have Chinese-made hardware and chips. By swapping out the original components with computer or smartphone processors, there were certain instances when attempts were made to camouflage or conceal the origin of the drone.

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