In a proactive move to safeguard its airbases, the Indian Air Force (IAF) has equipped its stations with sophisticated counter-drone systems designed to identify and neutralize any unauthorized unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) posing a threat to military installations. Air Commodore Shekhar Yadav, at the head of the Air Force Station in Pune, highlighted the new security measures during a press briefing. The installation of these systems ensures that all flying operations within and around the designated ‘no drone zones,’ which extend to a 3-kilometer radius of each airbase, remain secure against UAV-related risks According to a report by TS2.

The counter-drone systems implemented by the IAF incorporate a mix of deterrents, both kinetic and non-kinetic, ensuring a broad-spectrum defence. Soft-kill techniques like RF jamming, spoofing to mislead the UAV trajectory via fake signals, and blinding drones with intense light beams are employed alongside hard-kill options, which include the use of lasers, microwaves, physical nets, and collision drones.

These actions come as a response to the increased use of drones for recreational and other purposes, which inadvertently heightens the risk of interference with aviation activities. The heightened security measures have also influenced the government’s recent policy update on drone usage, emphasizing stringent adherence to regulations to prevent any security breach.

Adding to the defence layers, the airbase at Pune maintains a comprehensive security network that is vigilant round-the-clock. Local residents are urged to report any atypical observations to reinforce the security apparatus. This collaborative community approach is also a part of ensuring that the historic air station—home to several fighter and defence squadrons, in operation since 1939—remains a bastion of India’s aerial defence capabilities.