Trespassers at IAF Bases to be Shot at Sight

Air force on high alert after deadly Pathankot attack by Pak militants, proposes `8,000-crore security system for 54 airbases

Published: 04th February 2016 06:18 AM  |   Last Updated: 04th February 2016 09:52 AM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI: The Indian Air Force (IAF) has issued shoot-at-sight orders against trespassers in at least 20 frontline air stations on the western sector, a senior IAF official said Wednesday.

An audit of IAF bases and stations, ordered after the attack on the airbase in Pathankot earlier this month, has identified chinks in their security and accordingly, measures are being taken to plug them.

Aiming at a comprehensive security system, the IAF has moved a proposal for scaling up the security at its 54 key airbases across the country. The estimated expenditure for the proposal comes to around `8,000 crore. The IAF has also asked the government to strictly implement the existing ban against construction activities within 100 metres of any airbase and within 900 metres of its ammunition depots.

“The Pathankot terror attack was a learning experience for us. We are now coming out with a comprehensive proposal for security of our 54 main flying bases. These proposals had already been in the pipeline. Because of financial constraints, we are doing it in a phased manner. Our first focus is to protect the main assets and then move to the perimeter wall,” a senior IAF officer said.

The measures include smart perimeter intrusion systems, CCTVs, motion detectors and mini-drones among other things. “The expenditure will come to about `100-150 crore per base,” the official said, adding that two teams from the Directorate of Air Staff had carried out the security audit of the bases.

However, he clarified that “no major weaknesses were found in the audit.” Similar audits are in fact conducted every six months. The IAF also plans to double the strength of its Garud Commandos by raising 10 additional squadrons to protect its 950 flying and non-flying establishments across the country.

Foolproof plans

■ IAF proposes a Rs 8,000 cr proposal to scale up security at 54 key airbases across the country

■ Wants the government to strictly implement the ban on construction within 100 m of airbases and 900 m of ammunition depots

■ Security measures include smart perimeter intrusion systems, CCTVs, motion detectors, drones

■ Wants to raise 10 additional squadrons of its Garud Commandos

On whether the western airbases will be given priority, the officer said even the bases in the eastern sector are under threat and modernisation would be done on the basis of threat perception. “There is a high threat perception for our bases under the western air command and south-western air command including areas of Rajasthan and Gujarat etc,” he said. The official also admitted that another priority was to remove encroachments around the bases.

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