BSF has shot down two drones along the International Border in last 15 months

New Delhi: The Border Security Force (BSF) have detected 136 drones and shot down two drones along the International Border bordering India and Pakistan in the last 15 months.

According to BSF officials, in between December last year and March this year, the BSF has detected six drones along the India-Pakistan border and have shot down two of them. Most of these drones are sent by Pakistan either with narcotics or arms and ammunition.

The two drones that were shot down by the BSF were detected and downed in the Ferozepur sector in Punjab that borders India with Pakistan. The latest drone to be shot down by the BSF was on 7 March. According to BSF officials, personnel deployed in the forward post in AOR (Area of Responsibility) Ferozepur heard some humming sound of a suspicious flying object coming from Pakistani side to Indian side and alerted all the officers and shot at the flying object, which turned out be a Chinese made DJI Matrice 300 RTX quadcopter drone.

This small drone flying at a low level was carrying a payload of 4.17 kg filled with narcotics which was being tried to smuggle into India from Pakistan. In another incident on 9 February this year, the BSF foiled a smuggling bid by using drone contained explosives and bomb making tools coming into the Indian side from Pakistan. This was detected in the Gurdaspur sector in Punjab, where two containers, containing RDX, detonators, plastic pipes, cycle ball for splinter, packing foam, timers, pistol, magazine, polarised cell, among others, were found in a drone trying to cross into India.

Senior BSF officials in the know-how of the matter said that many of the drones that have been detected by the BSF along the International border were Chinese made drones, which are small and carry small payloads. The officer also said that Pakistan in recent times is using drones instead of men to send in their materials into India, as Pakistan thinks that these drones would not be detected.

“These drones are mostly small drones, flying at a low level with payloads that mostly include drugs and small packets of arms and ammunition. The modus operandi of the drone handlers is such that these drones are mostly sent either at the wee hours or in the dead of the night to drop their payloads at some designated locations from where it will be picked up by handlers in India. However, the BSF officials posted in the border are given special training to detect drones and thwart drone activities along the border and due of this, detection and destruction of drones is becoming possible,” a senior BSF official who did not wish to be named, told The Sunday Guardian.

The BSF official also categorically mentioned that drone activities have increased along the Western and Northern Sector of the Border that borders India with Pakistan. The eastern sector which borders Bangladesh has not been witnessing much drone activity.

However, in the wake of the increasing drone activities the BSF is also investing in anti-drone systems which are being installed at strategic locations along the International Border. According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, the BSF is being equipped with anti-drone systems developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the technology to scale up the manufacturing has been transferred to Bharat Electronics Limited as well as four other private companies. Apart from India, USA, Israel, France, United Kingdom and Germany have invested and deployed anti-drone systems in their countries. However, officials in the BSF told this correspondent that no anti-drone system is full proof and that the system is not capable of detecting small and low flying drones in their radars.

“This fact is known to the enemy and, therefore, they are deploying small and low flying drones to courier their consignment into India. We are training our men to detect and thwart such drones whenever it is visible through the naked eye,” the BSF officer said. The officer also mentioned that there are hundreds of other drones that do come into India from Pakistan and go undetected simply because it is humanly not possible to detect all drones either through the naked eye or through the anti-drone system.