On January 6th, massive waves of attacks were organised by Militants against Russian forces in Syria. The Tartus Naval base and Hmeimin airbase came under attack from scores of drones operated by rag tag groups of rebels.
The Russian military took control of six drones that were sent by militants, another seven were shot down by the Pantsir-S1 anti-aircraft missile and gun system, the Russian Defense Ministry reported.
This puts out a completely new form of warfare in which the Aircraft can be ordered on likes of Amazon and Alibaba and put to overwhelm enemy in a air attack scenario – at least for a limited amount of time. In this case the objects of attacks were fully prepared military installations so the options to shoot down the Arial intruders was readily available, the same may not be the case next time.
What is even more perplexing in this battle was the fact the Russians hacked into the at least six of the said drones and landed them. Now this is completely unheard of.
The possibilities here are beyond the battlefield of Syria. Imagine a group of remotely controlled drones attack a border post to facilitate infiltration. Or few ‘legal’ amazon delivery drones hijacked to deliver contrabands beyound borders.
While Indian Air force has experimented with Drones and pilot less Aircraft for over two decades, the fact is that our defence capabilities are no where ner to meet the challenges from the commercially available technology.
while Russians landed the ‘not so sopheticated’ drones, the fact that they were able to do so because they must have had been expecting sophisticated drones like predators. No such security challenges are seen in India while China continues to develop its capacities. Pakistan too has actively partnered China in this development.
In India we keep on looking at DRDO to develop the drones, while the real challage has already changed to stopping and controlling the drones. We need to get the expertise and get it fast