How India Is Going ‘Make In India’ Against Drone Threat


While several drone sightings have been recorded on its borders, India too has stepped up in its development of drone technologies with more emphasis on ‘Make in India’. In that light, let’s look at some of the recent drone developments on the borders and some deals India has made for indigenous drone and anti-drone technology.

Crux of the Matter

Recent Intrusions
India has witnessed drone intrusions on borders in recent times. As per Rakesh Asthana, the Director General of BSF, India recorded 77 drone sightings on the Western Front in 2020, as compared to 167 in 2019. As per The Indian Express, the annual sightings number stands at around 100 to 150.

Recent Drone Incidents

  • In June 2021, drone was used for an attack on the Jammu Indian Air Force base.

  • In July, a drone carrying improvised explosive device (IED) was shot down 8 km inside the Indian border.

  • In July itself, 8 Chinese drone cameras were recovered on the India-Nepal border as well.

SIPRI Findings
As per the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute,

  • India is the world’s third largest importer of military grade Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) as of 2020.

  • India also has 6.8% share in total UAVs transferred across world.

  • However, Indian defence forces have made several deals for ‘indigenous technology’ for both anti-drone and drone systems.

Anti-Drone Deals
In September 2021, an agreement was reached between the Indian Air Force and Hyderabad based Zen Technologies. The agreement was for Counter Unmanned Aircraft Systems (CUAS) which was worth ₹155 crore.

In August 2021, an agreement was reached between the Indian Navy and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) for India’s first indigenously developed Naval Anti Drone System (NADS). Developed by DRDO, NDS is going to be manufactured by BEL, a public sector undertaking (PSU) of the Navratna Defence.

Drone Deals