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India may procure Israeli anti-drone systems in wake of Jammu attack: Report

NEW DELHI, June 29: India is likely to make a decision soon on the deployment of anti-drone technology at military installations across the country, according to reports on Tuesday.

It added that the armed forces are already carrying out drills with the Israeli anti-drone SMASH 2000 Plus systems which may be procured on an immediate basis.

The development comes in the wake of a first-of-its-kind drone attack in the country earlier on Sunday, where unmanned aerial vehicles were used to drop two bombs at an Indian Air Force (IAF) station at Jammu airport, injuring two IAF personnel.

Over 300 drones and unidentified flying objects have been sighted along the sensitive border with Pakistan after the August 5, 2019 abrogation of Article 370 that granted special status to Jammu and Kashmir, central security agencies said. However, the armed forces are not suitably equipped with technology to tackle these new lethal sky-floaters, intelligence sources warned.

Suspected drone activity was also seen late last night at Kunjwani in the Ratnuchak area of Jammu, according to a news agency on Tuesday morning, citing people familiar with the development.

Meanwhile, the Union ministry of home affairs has handed over the investigation of the Jammu drone attack case to the National Investigation Agency (NIA).

The Israeli anti-drone SMASH 2000 Plus systems are fitted on a rifle and can target drones flying at high speeds. The Indian Navy has already started the process of procuring these defense systems, while the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force might take these up soon as well.

Drones are often difficult to catch on the radar because they fly at low altitudes; in such cases, security personnel can only rely on a manual approach in spotting these drones and bringing them down when they get close.

The SMASH 2000 Plus anti-drone systems can be retrofitted onto an AK-47 or any other rifle of a similar make. The device can detect drones and other small flying objects, not just during the day but also at night, said people in the know.

Moreover, it was said that the defence ministry was already mulling over the installation of these anti-drone systems at major military stations, but after the Jammu attack, the government can make a decision soon in this regard. Additionally, the ministry has separately empowered army chiefs to procure items of immediate need, the report added.

India Successfully Test Fires Agni Prime

NEW DELHI, June 28: India successfully test-fired the nuclear-capable Agni Prime ballistic missile - a more advanced version of the Agni class of missiles - from a location off the Odisha coast on Monday morning.

A statement by the Defence Research and Development Organisation, or DRDO, said the successful test - which began at 10.55 am - was a "textbook launch", and took place at a testing facility on Dr APJ Abdul Kalam island, which located is around 150 km east of Bhubaneswar.

"Various telemetry and radar stations positioned along the eastern coast tracked and monitored the missile. It followed textbook trajectory... meeting all mission objectives with a high level of accuracy," the DRDO statement said.

The Agni Prime missile is a next-generation, nuclear-capable weapon made fully of a composite material, sources added. It is a canisterised missile with range of 1,000-2,000 kilometres, they said.

Two days ago the DRDO also successfully test fired an extended range version of the indigenously developed 'Pinaka' rocket from the Integrated Test Range in Odisha's Chandipur.

A total of 25 'enhanced pinaka' rockets - launched from a Multi-Barrel Rocket Launcher (MBRL) - were fired in quick succession at targets at different ranges.

An official said all mission objectives had been met and that the enhanced range version could destroy targets at distances up to 45 kilometres.

In March the DRDO also successfully test-fired a missile with a unique propulsion system - one based on solid fuel ducted ramjet (SFDR) technology from the ITR in Chandipur.

The DRDO said all subsystems performed as expected and that SFDR technology would it a big advantage in developing long-range air-to-air missiles.

Modi calls for army to become 'future force'

NEW DELHI, March 6: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday stressed the importance of enhancing indigenisation in the national security system, not only in sourcing equipment and weapons but also in the doctrines, procedures and customs practised in the armed forces.

The Prime Minister also conveyed his appreciation for the dedication shown by the Indian armed forces over the past year during the coronavirus pandemic as well as the challenging situation on the northern border, his office said in a statement. He was addressing the Combined Commanders’ Conference at Kevadia in Gujarat.

“Every Indian is very proud of our armed forces. Their courage is remarkable. Urged the armed forces to think about various reforms that would make the forces even stronger. Also discussed ways to integrate brave veterans in the celebrations to mark 75 years of Independence,” Modi later tweeted.

Highlighting the rapidly changing technological landscape, the Prime Minister emphasised the need to develop the Indian military into a 'future force'. He also stressed the need to optimise manpower planning in both military and civilian parts of the national security architecture, according to the Prime Minister’s Office.

Modi called for a holistic approach, focused on breaking down civil-military silos and on expediting the speed of decision making as he advised the forces to rid themselves of legacy systems and practices that have outlived their utility and relevance.

The Prime Minister also pointed out that the country would be celebrating 75 years of its Independence next year, and called upon the armed forces to use the occasion to undertake activities and initiatives that would inspire the youth of the country.

The conference in Kevadia comes at a crucial time when the Indian and Chinese troops were negotiating disengagement in the eastern Ladakh sector. It also comes days after the announcement by Indian and Pakistani armies that they have begun observing a ceasefire along the Line of Control (LoC) from the midnight of February 24.

Defence minister Rajnath Singh, Chief of Defence Staff General Bipin Rawat, the three service chiefs, secretary-ranked officers from the defence ministry and top military officials attended the event.



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