Delhi under heavy security blanket against aerial threats

Ahead of Commonwealth Games, the city was today brought under a heavy security blanket to defend it against any aerial threat like rogue aircraft, microlights or balloons.

Updated: Sep 28, 2010, 21:31 PM IST

New Delhi: Ahead of Commonwealth Games,
the city was today brought under a heavy security blanket to
defend it against any aerial threat like rogue aircraft,
microlights or balloons.

Apart from security personnel manning observation
posts for unidentified aircraft, UAVs and para gliders, the
IAF will also place fighter jets such as the front line
Sukhois and MiG-21 Bisons at nearby air bases to deal with any
eventuality such as a hijacked plane or a fast flying
aircraft.

Two Unmanned Aerial Vehicles of the IAF will hover
over Delhi at 6,000 to 10,000 feet altitude on all days of the
CWG from October 3 to 14.

The IAF, official sources said here today, will be the
lead agency in the air defence of the city with agencies from
the Home Ministry and Delhi Police supporting the effort to
secure the CWG from any threats from the skies.

"We have put in place a comprehensive air defence over
a 60-km radius in Delhi with the IAF leading the security
forces comprising of Home Ministry agencies and Delhi Police.

"The holistic air defence plan will cover all
conceivable threats be it hijacked planes, low-speed and
high-speed aircraft, para gliders, balloons, unmanned aerial
vehicles and aero-models," sources said.

While the IAF will place its anti-aircraft
surface-to-air weapons such as Pechora, OSA-Ak and Igla, its
fighter jets and armed helicopters will be based in ready mode
at Bareilly, Sirsa, Adampur and Srinagar to provide combat air
patrol.

IAF`s Mi-17 helicopters would be on stand by for
casualty evacuation, apart from its Chetak and Cheetah
helicopters carrying out reconnaissance and surveillance
flights.

Other security agencies, including the Delhi Police,
will be spread out across the city to man observation posts
and they will take a decision on further action including
shooting down any threat.

The Army`s air defence guns and medium machine guns
too would be deployed during the period, they said.

"The IAF has trained the Delhi Police personnel over
the last three months in aerial observation and interception
activities to observe, report and target the sub-conventional
threats in urban areas.

"We have also put in place a joint network of IAF and
Delhi Police for better coordination," the sources said.

The air space over Delhi would be a no-fly zone for
all unscheduled aircraft during the CWG for which the Aviation
Ministry has already issued guidelines.

Also, the radars of IAF and the Airports Authority of
India would be manned 24 hours during the games, sources
added.

The security agencies have also organised mobile
observation posts all around Delhi, which, sources said, would
be the first line of air defence.

-PTI