BSF to be equipped with new weapons to counter drones

INDIA’S border guarding force BSF will soon be equipped with a latest technology to counter rogue drones being used to smuggle arms and drugs in the western sector of the country by Pakistan-based suspected group of smugglers and militants to destabilise the law and order situation in the country. Findings regarding “counter drone solutions” are under the process to get rid of the illegal activity that Intelligence agencies warned has potential to harm internal and external security.

An anti-radio frequency (RF) transmission system is being developed to help the Border Security Force (BSF) in controlling the ongoing menace by breaking the link of drones flown by their handlers sitting somewhere in Pakistan, a source privy to the development told IANS. “Live trials have been started and the second pilot run has just got over. We are in the process of finalising our reports which we will submit to the Ministry of Home Affairs soon.

From solution testing to drone detection and target system, all the aspects are being covered,” the source said requesting anonymity. Explaining the system, another source said: “In order to control a drone remotely, you must be able to communicate with it wirelessly. Radio frequency wave is an invisible wave form on the electromagnetic spectrum to control these drones remotely.

A system to break the radio frequency is being developed. “Like all things on the electromagnetic spectrum, radio is measured in hertz (Hz). Extremely low frequency is anywhere from 3Hz to 30Hz and tremendously high frequency is from 300 GHz to 3,000 GHz. For radio to work, you must have a transmitter to send the messages and a receiver to receive the messages. At a rudimentary level, this is how remotely controlling an aircraft is accomplished. More precisely, your transmitter and receiver need to be tuned to the same frequency.

All points will be measured to control the frequency or break it.” The “radio frequency identification” system will help capture the frequency and control it from here or break its connection from other side, said the source. An official in the Home Ministry told IANS that drone technology has immense potential and, as per NITI Aayog, the sector is likely to reach $50 billion in the next 15 years. “As the technology is being used to smuggle arms and narcotics into India, an early solution is the need of the hour in view of internal security and other aspects,” he said. The BSF, which is guarding 3,323 km India-Pakistan borders which are being used to smuggle arms and drugs, has been working in this direction with the help of various private drone manufacturing firms and other stakeholders dealing with such manufacturing and counter drone solution firms to get the solution.

As local manufacturing of drones has come into light from the evidences recovered from the drones seized so far, intelligence agencies have warned of potential internal and external threats to the country. As the work to develop an anti-drone system is already in progress for the past one year, the BSF stressed on the sector in view of some recent incidents. Earlier this month, the Punjab Police had recovered an AK-47 rifle and a magazine with 30 cartridges, evidently part of the same consignment of 11 Arges and 84 hand grenades which were dropped by a Pakistani drone in the border district of Gurdaspur.

The seizure came amid concerns raised by Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh of fresh spurt of efforts by Pakistan-based militants to disturb the border state’s peace. According to Punjab Director General of Police Dinkar Gupta, the recovered assault rifle and the magazine with 30 cartridges had been attached to a wooden frame and lowered from the drone with a nylon rope like the hand grenades which were recovered from Salach village.

Alert security forces deployed along the international border with Pakistan had spotted a drone in Jammu district in November end and had opened fire to force it to return to the neighbouring country. The police said the drone was spotted on the Indian side of the international border in Arnia sector in RS Pura. The BSF troops fired at the drone after which it withdrew to the Pakistan side. Drones have been used in recent times by militants and their handlers to drop weapons etc. on the Indian side of the international border. The BSF under the guidance of the Ministry of Home Affairs is now trying to find a permanent solution to this menace.

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