AWACS and aerial surveillance of battlefield
The attack on Pathankot airbase underscores the necessity of aerial surveillance of vital points and vital areas not just in segments close to the borders with Pakistan but also along the entire Indian periphery be it vis-à-vis Pakistan, China, Nepal, Bangladesh or Sri Lanka given that those entrusted with the job of protecting our frontiers have been found to be sleeping on the job.
Aerial surveillance with drones during so-called ‘peacetime’ has the advantage of real time imagery is not susceptible to failure as have been the ground-based infrared cameras and sensors installed around the Line of Control as well as in the Ladakh Chumar/Depsang along the Line of Actual Control with China.
It can facilitate immediate pinpointed responses by forces in situ or set the stage for sounding an alert to all points that need to be defended with reinforcements. It can also negate the possibility of an insider complicity as is believed to have been the case in the Pathankot incident.
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