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May 29, 2024

India Unveils World’s First Counter-Unmanned Aircraft System

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By: Lt Col JS Sodhi (Retd), Editor, GSDN

Lt Gen Gurmit Singh, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, VSM (Retd), Governor of Uttarakhand addressing the gathering during the unveiling of U-CAS: source Author

In a major boost to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Atmanirbhar Bharat and Make in India vision, India on September 02, 2023 unveiled the world’s first Counter-Unmanned Aircraft System (C-UAS).

Grene Robotics demonstrated Indrajaal, the world’s only autonomous wide area anti-drone/Counter-Unmanned Aircraft System (C-UAS), in Hyderabad, India on September 02, 2023 in an impressive ceremony which was well-attended by distinguished dignitaries. This event marked a pivotal moment in the history of Indian defence technology as this is the world’s only anti-drone system capable of protecting against micro, mini, small, large and extra-large drone classifications, revolutionizing security measures for a safer future.

The exclusive unveiling was done in the presence of the Hon’ble Governor of Uttarakhand, Lt Gen Gurmit Singh, PVSM, UYSM, AVSM, VSM (Retd) who said that Indrajaal marks a groundbreaking advancement in defence technology that is set to reshape the security landscape for defence, public infrastructure, and private sectors. This system will not only enhance our nation’s self-reliant military capabilities but also address the urgent need of the hour to defend against the increasing threat of drones.

Indrajaal’s design principle leverages a LEGO block-like combination mechanism of 12 unique layers of technology powered by artificial intelligence for the first time in the world. The system has the ability to detect, identify, classify, track, and swiftly neutralize threats in real time, making it a formidable force in the field.  With 360-degree protection, Indrajaal can cover vast areas of up to 4000 sq. km and provide a comprehensive framework to defend against all classifications and levels of autonomous drones. From low RCS threats to medium and high-altitude long endurance (MALE & HALE) UAVs, loitering munitions, smart bombs, rocket showers, nano and micro drones, swarm drones, and more, Indrajaal can protect against all categories of ariel threats.

The Escalating Drone Threat

Over the past two years, India has encountered a significant surge in hostile UAV activity. The country’s defence forces have detected several attempts to drop weapons, money and narcotics into the country. Intelligence reports have indicated that Pakistan’s spy agency, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) is actively planning to employ drones for smuggling weapons and narcotics into India’s Jammu and Punjab regions.

Pakistan’s drone missions appear to have three primary objectives: surveillance of Indian security forces, narcotics smuggling, and distributing weapons within Indian territory. Disturbingly, there has been a steady increase in drone-based weapon deliveries, with 76 cases reported in 2020, 109 in 2021, 266 in 2022, and approximately 200 cases in 2023 alone. This concerning upsurge emphasizes the urgent need for heightened vigilance and the implementation of effective countermeasures to safeguard national security.

Limitations of current deployments

1)    The future skies will have more friendly drones than threats

2)    Stand-alone systems are not scalable and not even practical

3)    Only radar-based detections are inaccurate at low RCS and close to the ground. They are even incapable of identifying the operating radio frequency

4)    Jamming can only delay, but cannot stop an attack

5)    Laser weapons require a large non-moving target

6)    There is no countermeasure to mitigate a swarm attack

Existing point defence-based anti-UAV systems are inadequate against drone threats as they rely on physical sighting. They can’t protect large defence bases, areas like the National Capital Region of New Delhi which contains several critically important buildings, international borders, and other sensitive regions against UAVs, low RCS missiles, smart munitions and swarm drones.

Wg Cdr MVN Sai (Retd), Director Grene Robotics explaining the features of Indrajaal: source Author

Indrajaal mitigates all of the above limitations by combining 12 proprietary technologies for the first time in the world

Indrajaalis an AI-powered wide-area networked system that can cover areas of up to 4000 sq. km. Comprising 12 proprietary modular technologies that can function independently or synergistically, Indrajaal introduces a new era of drone security.

  1. greneOS – Patented Autonomous Resource Planning Engine
  2. DefOS – Unified Command and Control Engine
  3. HiveMind™ – AI Computer that can plan and execute missions
  4. Zombee ™Drone – Level 5 autonomous drones that can kill threats
  5. SkyCop™ Drone – Level 5 autonomous drone that can watch threats
  6. Brig™ Device – Edge AI smart data and control device
  7. SpiderMesh™ – High-speed wireless mesh network covering up to 4000 sq. km.
  8. Repulsor™ – Uses a tractor beam to jam and control drones
  9. greneEYE – Uses machine vision to identify threats
  10. HyperSensing™ – A potent mix of sensing technologies
  11. WeaponFusion™ – Make existing weapons autonomous by integrating them
  12. GlobalGrid™ – Unified real-time command and control interface

Conclusion

Systems like Indrajaal need to be inducted in the Indian Armed Forces on top most priority in view of the escalating threats by both Pakistan and China. The Author of this article who witnessed to the unveiling ceremony, saw first-hand the impressive performance of this defence system which when inducted in the Indian Armed Forces, will greatly enhance the combat potential of India.

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