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India's DRDO develops system to counter micro and mini UAVs

Indian Minister of State for Defence Ajay Bhatt confirmed on 28 July that the government-run Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has developed a system designed to detect, track, and neutralise micro and mini unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).

Speaking in parliament Bhatt said that the DRDO's ‘Indigenous Drone Technology' will employ ‘soft-' and ‘hard-kill' options, including the capability to jam a UAV's communication systems and then destroy the platform using high-energy lasers or microwave-based directed-energy weapons (DEWs).

“This [counter-UAV] system has already been demonstrated to the armed forces and other internal security agencies,” said the minister, adding that state-owned Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) has been provided with the technology to series-produce the system. A transfer of technology has also been offered to other local companies.

No further details were provided, but industry sources told Janes on 30 July that two prototypes of the system have been developed: one fitted onto a mobile trailer and the other mounted on a ground-based tripod. Each prototype has been equipped with a radar providing 360° coverage and opto-electronic/infrared sensors capable of detecting mini and micro UAVs out to ranges between 2 and 4 km.

The system also features a radio-frequency (RF) jamming component – linked to the locally developed Indian Regional Navigation Satellite System (IRNSS) – capable of jamming the UAV's control and/or navigation functions out to a range of 3 km.

The prototype mounted on the trailer is believed to be fitted with a 10 kW laser that can neutralise targets within a 2 km range, while the other, featuring a 2 kW high-power microwave emitter, has a stated ‘kill zone' of about 1 km.

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