BSF downs nine drones along LoC in a month
BSF troops fired at the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), detected around 7.45am near the Pulmoran border post in Amritsar, bringing it down within seconds.
New Delhi: The Border Security Force (BSF) on Friday morning shot down another intruding drone at the India-Pakistan border, the ninth such operation this month, as its personnel are “mastering” the skill of taking down drones with help from technological solutions, people aware of the matter said.
BSF troops fired at the unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), detected around 7.45am near the Pulmoran border post in Amritsar, bringing it down within seconds. The drone had the capacity to carry a payload of 25kg and a mechanism to drop consignments, according to a statement by BSF.
Similar successes were achieved on Tuesday and Wednesday as well, when BSF men shot down drones in Amritsar and Ferozepur areas, according to BSF. Overall, 24 drones have been shot down by BSF in 2022 as compared to one each in 2021 and the preceding year, according to official records.
The border guarding force, which has been nudged by Union home minister Amit Shah to keep a strict vigil on the smuggling of arms, ammunition, drugs and explosives through drones, has lately adopted new strategies to deal with the menace.
Other than burst and targeted firing towards sounds coming from incoming drones, usual routes mapped through GPS are being regularly monitored and patrolling has been increased at vulnerable spots, according to an officer who asked not to be named. Several anti-drone systems have already been installed in border areas.
The systems are basically anti drone guns, which work like jammers as they disrupt the radio frequency and GPS.
Intelligence inputs and GPS mapping of incoming drones, this officer added, have revealed that most drones are operated either from within the premises of Pakistan Rangers or special premises used by smugglers and terrorists just behind the rangers’ posts.
“A mixture of both – technology such as anti-drone guns, jamming devices, etc., and targeted shooting of UAVs by the BSF jawans, who are already trained for this, is producing good results. But with the winter fog, we have to be extra vigilant,” said another officer, asking not to be indentified.
Last month, BSF chief Pankaj Kumar Singh said that the force had developed “low-cost” technology solutions for monitoring infiltration, drone activity and other crimes at India’s border with Pakistan. He also said the Centre had sanctioned a fund of ₹30 crore for surveillance cameras, anti-drones and other monitoring gadgets for the border.
The home ministry has allowed operational freedom to BSF to deal with the drone menace as close to 300 drones have been sighted near the border this year, according to the second officer. There were 109 drone sightings in 2021, 49 in 2020 and 35 in 2019.
Terror outfits such as Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), its offshoot in Jammu and Kashmir -- The Resistance Front (TRF) -- Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) and Khalistani outfits backed by Pakistani spy agency ISI are using Chinese drones to send payloads via Amritsar, Jalandhar, Gurdaspur, Ferozepurm Kathua, RS Pura and Kanachak, according to an analysis by security agencies.
BSF guards India’s 6,386km of land border -- over 2,724 km of India-Pakistan international border and some parts of the Line of Control – and 4,096km-long border with Bangladesh.