crpf: K9 unit: Soon dogs will be “extra eyes”, couriers for the CRPF in combat zones

Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) operational units in areas affected by insurgency and counter-terrorism operations will soon be able to use dogs for remote monitoring and dispatching equipment through camps, which only United States (US) Special Forces and Canadian Special Forces have been able to do this so far.

This will be done through the acquisition of the K9 Vision System and the Canine Remote Deployment System (CRDS).

A document viewed by the reads that CRPF operational units deployed in the IED-prone region of Left-Wing Extremism (LWE) and Jammu and Kashmir are pushing for the provision of K9 teams. The CRPF is in the process of acquiring breeding stock from working lines of K9 and puppies from BSM (Belgian Shepherd Malinois).

The CRPF has published quality requirements and testing guidelines for the supply of both systems.

“CRDS is a K9 mounted item delivered remotely as UNDERDOG” attached to the trigger mechanism. The system is highly efficient in remotely delivering a wide range of items i.e. breaking charges, listening devices, portable jammers, lifesaving drugs and tech gadgets inside the “hot zone”. The system has proven to be extremely useful in certain operational situations which are quite often encountered when human intervention is practically impossible or inadvisable in the face of an extreme threat. The CRDS is currently used by US and Canadian Special Forces units in various operations,” the document reads.

“The payload weight should be a maximum of 800 grams. The system should be equipped with a robust and resistant cover or case for protection against damage or drops,” he added.

The paramilitary force is also evaluating the effectiveness of another gadget called K9 Vision System, a canine camera system. It is 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. High quality video and radio transmission means working in real time to maximize operational capabilities.

In accordance with the requirement imposed by the CRPF, the system must be supplied with a remote control capable of full control over a minimum range of 450 m with a screen installation on the wrist.

The capabilities of the two systems will be presented to the committee before confirming their acquisition in the force.

“The dogs’ sniffer power is the greatest advantage for CRPF personnel during anti-Naxal and counter-terrorism operations at J&K. Each battalion in the Naxal areas has 14 dogs and each time a team goes on patrol, the dogs pass in front of the team to detect any ambushes, explosives or landmines. And the deployment of CRDS and K9 vision systems will give more power to patrol units in these affected areas,” said a senior CRPF officer.

However, the CRPF has already clarified that it will only procure and deploy Belgian Shepherd Dog (BSM) breeds in LWE and Jammu and Kashmir regions due to their sound sensitivity and visual sensitivity.

“BSM is the best police dog in the world. It is a proven breed. Different organizations use different breeds depending on their needs. Some forces use the Labrador and the Cocker Spaniel as they are public dogs used for sniffing around the subway, airports and other public places,” added a CRPF officer.

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