Bengaluru’s BEL to protect Indian forces from drones

Bengaluru’s BEL to protect Indian Army, Navy, Air Force from drones

The anti-drone system was first deployed to provide security cover for the Republic Day parade this year

Indian Naval officers and DRDO representatives during the signing of a contract with Navratna Defence PSU Bharat Limited (BEL) for supply of the first indigenous comprehensive Naval Anti Drone System (NADS) with both hard kill and soft kill capabilities, in New Delhi, Tuesday, August 31, 2021. Credit: PTI Photo

The Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) based in Bengaluru will manufacture indigenously developed anti-drone systems for the Indian Navy, Army and the Air Force.

The Indian Navy on Tuesday signed the contract with the BEL for the supply of the first indigenous comprehensive Naval Anti Drone System (NADS) with both hard kill and soft kill capabilities.

The BEL will sign similar contracts with the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force too.

“The NADS can instantly detect and jam micro drones and use a laser-based kill mechanism to terminate targets,” the Ministry of Defence stated in a press release.

“It will be an effective all-encompassing counter to the increased drone threat to strategic naval installations.”

Also read: Key takeaways from new Drone Rules, 2021

The NADS has been developed by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO) and manufactured by the BEL. It is the first indigenously developed anti-drone system to be inducted into the armed forces of India.

The BEL units in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune and Machilipatanam were involved in the project in close collaboration with the Indian Navy.

The DRDO laboratories involved in the collaboration project are Electronics and Radar Development Establishment (LRDE) in Bengaluru, the Defence Electronics Research Laboratory (DLRL) and the Centre for High Energy Systems and Sciences (CHESS) in Hyderabad and the Instruments Research and Development Establishment (IRDE) in Dehradun.

The MoD stated that the project for development of the NADS was a part of the Atmanirbar Bharat initiative to counter hostile drone threats.

The anti-drone system was first deployed to provide security cover for the Republic Day parade this year and later during the Prime Minister's Independence Day address to the Nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort.

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The NADS uses the help of Radar, Electro-Optical or Infrared (EO or IR) sensors and Radio Frequency (RF) detectors to detect and jam the micro drones. The DRDO’s RF or Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) detects the frequency used by the controller of the drone and the signals are then jammed.

The anti-drone technology system of the DRDO provides for both 'soft kill' and 'hard kill' options to the Indian Army, Navy and the Air Force to tackle fast-emerging aerial threats. The static and mobile versions of the NADS will be supplied to the Indian Navy within a short time from the signing of contract, the MoD stated.

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