The Indian Navy is gearing up to enhance its security capabilities by investing Rs 490 crore in the procurement of counter-drone systems. These cutting-edge systems will be deployed not only on warships like the INS Vikramaditya and Vikrant but also at naval bases ashore. This strategic move is aimed at countering threats posed by enemy drones, a concern that has prompted both the Army and Air Force to acquire similar anti-drone systems.
The Request for Information (RI) document released by the Ministry of Defence outlines the intention to acquire Counter Drone Systems (Soft Kill) for deployment across Indian Naval warships and establishments ashore. With this step, the Navy acknowledges the rising significance of countering enemy drones not only at sea but also at its various bases situated across the country.
The move to acquire counter-drone systems is particularly significant due to the multifaceted nature of the Indian Navy's operations. With two aircraft carriers, INS Vikrant and INS Vikramaditya, along with eight warships, destroyers, and frigates, the Navy operates across a wide spectrum of scenarios, from naval engagements to safeguarding its installations on the coastline.
The counter-drone systems are slated to be procured from Indian vendors, underlining the nation's emphasis on boosting indigenous capabilities in defence technology. These systems are expected to possess the versatility to be installed and operated on both ships and establishments ashore, including a mobile variant. Crucially, the systems will be equipped with integral radar, enabling 360° coverage for aerial and surface targets.
To address the unique challenges posed by mini and micro drones, the counter-drone systems are required to demonstrate the capability for detecting and tracking such drones at distances of 5 km or more. Beyond detection, the systems should possess the ability to intercept the drones while accurately identifying the direction of the drone's signals.
It's worth noting that the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), in collaboration with the Indian Navy, has already taken strides in developing a Naval Anti-Drone System. This system, being manufactured by Bharat Electronics Limited, reflects a concerted effort to create a robust defence mechanism against evolving threats from enemy drones.