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Indian Navy strikes deal with BEL, to procure indigenous modern anti-drone system

The Indian Navy on Tuesday sealed a deal with the giant aerospace and defence electronic company- Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL). Bengaluru-based BEL will manufacture an indigenously developed anti-drone system for all the three armed forces- Indian Army, Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force. It will be the first locally produced Naval Anti-Drone System (NADS) that would have both hard kill as well as soft kill capabilities.

The ministry of defence in a statement said that BEL will further sign similar contracts with the Army as well as the Indian Air Force. The ministry in a press release also said that “The NADS has the capabilities to instantly detect and jam micro drones and use a laser-based kill mechanism to eliminate the target. It will be an effective all-encompassing counter to the increased drone threat to strategic naval installations.”

The deal comes at the backdrop of the attack in which small drones were used to target the Jammu and Kashmir Air Force Station on June 27. It was the first-ever offensive use of drones to target the facility of the Indian Armed Force. The attack raised serious security concerns for the country as explosives were dropped at the airbase using aerial vehicles.

The Naval Anti-Drone System has been developed and manufactured by Bharat Electronic Limited in collaboration with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). It will be the first indigenous anti- drone system to be inducted in the Indian Armed Forces. The new system has basically two versions- static and mobile versions. As per the Defence Ministry, both the newly developed NADS will be handed over to the Indian Navy within a short period of time.

Electronic and Radar Development Establishment situated in Bengaluru, the Defense Electronic Research Laboratory & Centre for High Energy Systems and Sciences in Hyderabad and Instruments Research and Development Establishment located in Dehradun are the DRDO laboratories that were involved in the entire project. While BEL units situated in Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Machilipatanam and Pune were closely working on the project alongside the Indian Navy.

The first time that this new anti-drone system was tested was when it was deployed for providing security cover on the occasion of Republic Day this year and later during the Prime Minister’s Independence Day speech to the nation from the ramparts of the Red Fort located in the National Capital.

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