India’s growing unmanned aerial vehicle fleet is being put through its paces in defending against a future Mumbai-style complex terrorist attack. During a 48-hour-long exercise, Gemini-2, UAVs from the Navy’s 342 Air Squadron cued patrol boats and coastal police to thwart mock terrorists attempting to infiltrate Southern India’s shoreline from the sea. The first iteration of Gemini was held in November 2012, and other multi-agency coastal security exercises (‘Sagar Kavach’) have been conducted frequently since the Lashkar-e-Taiba attacks on Mumbai in 2008.
India’s ground-based tactical Searcher MK II and longer-ranged Heron UAVs are a component of a more comprehensive maritime observation network consisting of manned aircraft, cooperating fishermen, and coastal surveillance radars and cameras installed in 90 lighthouses along India’s 7,500 km coastline. India’s army and air force are also acquiring some small tactical UAVs to support anti-terror surveillance in urban areas.
This article was re-posted by permission from, and appeared in its original form at NavalDrones.com.