Anti-Drone System Deployment Plan
The Indian Navy will begin equipping its Naval Anti-Drone System (NADS) onboard all of its warships in a “phased manner.” Indian Navy Chief of Staff, Admiral R Hari Kumar, made the announcement after the commissioning of the hydrological survey ship, the INS Sandhayak, on February 3rd.
Naval Anti-Drone System
The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) developed the system with state-owned company, Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), manufacturing it. The Indian Navy signed an agreement with BEL to buy the system in August 2021.
The NADS uses radar and Electro-Optical/Infrared sensors to detect and destroy drones through both hard- and soft-kill capabilities, including lasers and radio jammers. The anti-drone system will also have a radio frequency detector to locate and track drones during flight.
The Indian military previously used the system to protect various events, such as India’s Independence Day, Republic Day, and the 2020 Namaste Trump event.
The announcement illustrates the concern that the Indian Navy has regarding the vulnerability of its vessels to loitering munitions and other types of suicide drones. The concern was made readily apparent during the ongoing targeting of commercial and naval vessels by the Houthis in retaliation against Israel’s campaign in Gaza. The deployment’s “phased manner” reinforces this notion since India will likely arm the vessels slated for deployment in the Arabian/Red Sea area. The announcement also shows the advancements India has made in its Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliance) initiative to develop a self-sufficient industry to produce advanced military equipment.