Podcast Episode 1: Countering Rogue Drones


Technology is neither moral nor immoral. It is said to be amoral and revelatory. Technology per se is a value-neutral resource and proposition. The future battlespace will be shaped by technology and technological superiority will determine the outcome of future battles. It is therefore essential that technological self-reliance remains the mantra for the future and a collective national effort be initiated to achieve this in the quickest possible time ensuring that technological developments are commensurate with our desired military capability. This underlying philosophy stands true in the realm of drones and their usage. Harnessing the usage of drones on a malignant tangent has called for the development of counter-drone systems.

Counter-drone technology, also known as counter-UAS, C-UAS, or counter-UAV technology, refers to systems that are used to detect and/or disable unmanned aircraft. As concerns mount around the potential security threats that drones may pose to both civilian and military entities, a new market for counter-drone technology is rapidly emerging. Drones are also increasingly becoming a weapon of choice for non-state groups that employ this technology for surveillance, battlespace management, propaganda, and aerial strike attacks, often too considerable. As a result of the proliferation of this technology, which is set to expand in the years ahead, counter-drone systems will become a ubiquitous weapon in all future conflicts. Drones today are being used by anti-state elements and nefarious players in the neighborhood to attack important installations, smuggle narcotics, weapons, etc. into the country.

In March 2021, the Ministry of Civil Aviation (MoCA), Government of India, notified Liberalized Drone Rules, 2021. In view of its traditional strengths in innovation, information technology, frugal engineering, and huge domestic demand, India has the potential to be a global drone hub by 2030. Hence, it becomes imperative for India to build enhanced and effective counter-drone capabilities.

The rise of C-UAS technology is largely tied to the novel threats posed by the expanding use of drones— particularly small, inexpensive systems—in civilian and wartime environments. In the military domain, small drones have been proliferating at a rate that has alarmed battlefield commanders and planners alike.

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