As G20 hosts, India looking at large-scale anti-drone deployment to ensure the safety of world leaders

For the uninitiated, the detection of drone is done with the help of Radars and Radio-frequency (RF)-based detection system.

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The recently-concluded Aero India, held annually in Bengaluru, offered a number of opportunities for Indian MSMEs (Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises) in the country’s Aerospace and Defence Sector.

The international event provided the MSMEs with a chance to network and tie up with leading aerospace companies, suppliers, and defence agencies from India and abroad. Private companies displayed their products and services to a large audience, increasing market visibility and gaining aerospace and defence industry recognition and contracts.

While an array of air-borne defensive and offensive systems are being inducted into the Indian armed branches, the Ukraine war has underlined the significance of drone and anti-drone systems in a challenging geo-political scenario. Its anti-drone systems and guns provide Ukraine with a mobile air defense system that has played a key role in destroying Russian drones and missiles as the Kremlin continues to send waves of both at critical infrastructures, like power stations and electrical generating plants.

For the uninitiated, the detection of drone is done with the help of Radars and Radio-frequency (RF)-based detection system. The identification is done with the help of Electro Optic sensor and COMINT. The soft kill is carried out with RF jamming & Anti GNSS technologies and Hard kill with the help of Laser Directed Energy Weapon (DEW). The system can detect, identify and neutralise different types of drones including Small Hybrid UAVs, Micro UAV/ Multi rotor, and Nano UAVs.

These new-age weapons are not only used in a war, but also to secure global events. In preparation for next year’s Paris Olympic Games, France is feverishly investing in anti-drone warfare that is moderately priced and remotely-operated.

As host nation, India is convening the G20 Leaders’ Summit for the first time in the country in 2023 as it seeks to play an important role by finding pragmatic global solutions for the wellbeing of all. But not everyone will be willing to embrace the spirit of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ (World is One Family). Rogue state and non-state actors will look to derail India’s drive and threaten the security of world leaders. As hosts, it will be India’s responsibility to ensure that they don’t succeed.

Again, it is the anti-drones that are being looked at as a key deterrent and the scale at which they need to be deployed is staggering. India will host over 200 meetings in over 50 cities across 32 different work streams over a period of 360-odd days. Each location will require a combination of defensive and offensive systems to thwart any attack or intrusion. To help the government achieve its target of deploying 100s of anti-drones, a large number of private tech and defense companies have entered this critical domain.

Retd. Major Vijay, product spokesperson for ACSG Corp., believes India is poised to become a leading manufacturer of anti-drone systems as part of its ‘Make in India’ philosophy. “We are working on anti-drone technology that’s both low-cost and highly effective.

The step-down subsidiary Throttle Aerospace Systems of RattanIndia Enterprises is also creating anti-drones. Recently, NeoSky India Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of RattanIndia, purchased a 60% stake in Throttle Aerospace. NeoSky India is the drone company that Rattan India uses in the country 

Hyderabad-based Grene Robotics has claimed to have created the Indrajaal drone dome, which can protect against threats from rogue drones.

While it’s understood that the government cannot do it all alone, the DRDO will continue to lead the way and offer private companies’ direction and even transfer technologies. This can help India increase production exponentially. Last year, defense minister, Rajnath Singh, handed over the transfer of technology documents of DRDO-developed Counter Drone System to the Indian industry, including companies like Adani Defence Systems, Larsen & Toubro, and Astra Microwave.

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First published on: 04-04-2023 at 18:00 IST