Findings have raised security concerns for agencies responsible for securing civil and military installations in the country.
New Delhi: The two explosive-laden drones used in carrying out the blast at the Jammu air force station on 27 June were launched from Jammu itself, investigators aware of the developments have told The Sunday Guardian.
The same findings were also confirmed by another agency that is not directly investigating the case, but has shared its input with the National Investigation Agency (NIA), which was handed over the probe by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). The NIA spokesperson declined to comment on whether the agency has been able to pinpoint the origin of these two drones as the case was “under active investigation and hence the sought information could not be provided at the moment”.
Official sources said that it was also confirmed that RDX compound was used as the explosive material in the drones.
The explosion had caused a significant structural damage to the concrete roof of one of the rooms in the Air Force compound, highlighting the danger it could have caused if it was dropped on accommodation of the personnel posted there or on one of military aircraft that are parked in the compound. The blast had taken place near the helicopter hangar. Two military personnel, too, had suffered minor injuries in the attack.
The Indian Air Force (IAF) station at Jammu is a vital base for its air assets that operate on India’s Western Front. The runway and the ATC are under the command of the IAF.
One of the theories that was being probed initially was that the two drones had taken off from the Pakistan side of the international border after which they covered around 14 km, which is the distance between Jammu airport and the international border, dropped the explosives, and flew back undetected.
The findings that these two drones were launched from the nearby areas surrounding the airport premise have raised greater security concerns for the agencies responsible for securing civil and military installations across the country.
Officials said that assembling easily available tools required for such destructive acts requires little money, but can cause serious damage to life and assets. “The only thing that is required once you have a Chinese-made drone and enough explosives is a man who is willing to operate the drone which requires less than a few hours to master it,” an official said.