Army to deploy remote-controlled guns at LoC to take on infiltrators
Remote-controlled machine guns will make their debut at the Line of Control (LoC) by the year-end as the army prepares to tighten security measures to fend off infiltrators along vulnerable patches south of the Pir Panjal range that separates Jammu hills from the Kashmir valley.
The first prototype sub-machine guns operated by remote control are being tested in the Akhnoor sector and results show the deployment of these weapons will shield and assist soldiers as they go about their daily task of perimeter protection and intrusion detection, said Lieutenant General RR Nimbhorkar, commander of the Nagrota-based 16 Corps.
The locally-developed integrated contraption uses a mix of infrared sensors radiating a grid of beams to detect any movement up to a distance of 80 metres ahead of the border fence – the distance between the fence and the LoC can vary from 50 metres to over 2km depending on the terrain.
The sensors are linked to automatic guns mounted on rotors and mated to night-vision cameras providing live images to commanders manning workstations with mapping software in the bunkers.
A buzzer is sounded if the grid is broken, swivelling the weapon in the direction of the intrusion site. “If the target is visually identified as hostile, the observer simply presses a button to take it out,” said Brigadier PC Vyas who is implementing the remote-controlled weapons project.
A modification alongside the weapon’s trigger actuates the firing sequence when the remote button is pressed. The guns can be raised, lowered and rotated in a 150-degree arc.
The scope of automation is being expanded. Nimbhorkar, whose forces guard a 224-km stretch of the disputed border in Jammu and Kashmir, told HT, “The tests on Sten sub-machine guns have met expectations. Now, trials will be conducted on light machine guns. We hope to deploy remote-controlled weapons in areas identified by us in two months.” Nimbhorkar said the weapons would be deployed to “secure dead ground” hidden from soldiers due to topographical factors and other areas that are “extremely difficult” to patrol. Such patches are exploited by infiltrators, backed by the Pakistani army, to sneak into the country and cross the Pir Panjal range to foment strife and tension in the Kashmir valley.
“This in-house innovation will help troops keep infiltration to near-zero level,” he said.
Across J-K, there were 70 infiltration bids last year during which 65 terrorists managed to sneak in while 136 were pushed back. In 2013, there were 91 bids by 280 terrorists and 97 were able to slip past the army’s three-tiered counter-infiltration grid.