The operational units of the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) in insurgency-hit areas and anti-terror operations will soon be able to use dogs for remote surveillance and sending equipment across camps, something that only the United States (US) Special Forces and Canadian Special Forces have been able to do so far.
This will happen through the procurement of K9 vision system and the Canine Remote Deployment System (CRDS).
A document accessed by the ANI reads that the operational Units of CRPF deployed in the IED prone region of Left Wing Extremism (LWE) and Jammu and Kashmir are pressing hard for the provision of K9 teams. CRPF is in the process of procurement of working line breeding stock of K9s and pups of BSM (Belgian Shepherd Malinois).
The CRPF has released Qualitative Requirements and Trial Directives for the procurement of both systems.
"CRDS is a K9 mounted article delivered remotely as an UNDERDOG" attached to the release mechanism. The system is very effective in delivering a remotely wide range of articles i.e breaching charge, bugging devices, portable jammer, lifesaving medicines and technical gadgets inside the 'Hot Zone'. The system proved to be extremely supportive in certain operational situations which are confronted quite often when human intervention is virtually impossible or not recommended in face of extreme threat. CRDS is currently used by Special Forces units of US and Canadian Special Forces in various operations," read the document.
"The Weight of the payload should be maxing 80O grams. The system should be provided with a rugged, heavy-duty cover or casing for protection against damage or fall," it added.
The paramilitary force is also evaluating the efficacy of another gadget called the K9 Vision System, a canine camera system. It is in used by Special Forces around the world.
The system contains a front and rear camera, night vision, collar, pouch and radio integration to ensure the handler is connected to K9. A high-quality video and radio transmission means working in real-time to maximize operational capabilities.
As per the requirement placed by the CRPF, the system should be provided with a remote capable of full control over a minimum range of 450m with a wrist screen facility.
The capabilities of both systems will be displayed to the committee before confirming their procurement in the force.
"The sniffing power of dogs is the biggest advantage for CRPF personnel during anti-naxal operations and anti- terror operations in J&K. Every Battalion in Naxal areas have 14 dogs and every time a team goes out on patrol, dogs move ahead of the team to detect any ambush, explosives or landmines. And deployment of CRDS and K9 vision systems will give more power to patrolling units in these affected areas," said a senior CRPF officer.
However, the CRPF has already specified that they will only be procuring and deploying Belgian Shepherd (BSM) breeds in LWE and Jammu and Kashmir areas because of their sound sensitivity and sight sensitivity.
"BSM is the best police dog in the world. It is a tried and tested breed. Different organizations use different breeds as per their requirement. Some forces use Labrador and cocker spaniel as they are public friendly dogs used for sniffing in metro, airports and other public places," CRPF officer added.