India to retaliate at a time, place of its choosing: CDS Rawat on drone attacks

India will strongly retaliate at a time and place of its choosing if Pakistan attempts to use drones or indulges in `hybrid warfare’ of any kind to target Indian civilian or military assets, chief of defence staff General Bipin Rawat warned on Friday.

Investigative agencies are probing whether the small explosive-laden drones used in the terror attack on the Jammu air force station on June 27 were launched from Pakistan or from within the region, and whether the intent was to deliver a message of a new capability or actually cause damage on the ground, said Gen Rawat.

“A strong message has to be sent that anything of this nature, grey-zone tactics or hybrid warfare, if it damages our assets and affects our national security, we reserve the right to respond at a time and place of our choosing and the manner in which we wish to respond,” he added.

Air Chief Marshal R K S Bhadauria, on his part, said IAF did have a limited number of “soft kill” jammers to disrupt the command-and-control links of small drones and “hard kill” counter-drone systems but they had not been deployed at the Jammu air station because it did not have “critical assets” like fighter jets.

IAF is closely working with DRDO on its anti-drone systems, which have directed energy weapons like lasers and will soon finish their trials. “It’s a new kind of threat. Many of the projects have already been undertaken and some of the systems were already fielded,” he said.

Gen Rawat said the armed forces will have to dynamically keep on adapting to new threats because the next attack could well be through rockets, as was seen in the recent Israel-Hamas conflict, and not drones. “Grey-zone warfare can involve anything and we have to be prepared for it,” he said.

Editor JK News Updates

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