A grenade-dropping drone, 3D fly-on-the-wall radar to see through a 20-m-thick wall and a ‘dogo robot’ armed with remote pistol are some of the latest weaponry provided to the NSG to undertake lethal counter- terror operations with a punch of stealth. The federal contingency force, drawing from its experiences in combating terror attacks and hostage situations in closed spaces in urban areas, has inducted some of the smartest gadgets and arms used by Special Forces and SWAT teams world over. A senior official told PTI the ‘black cats’ force, giving an edge to its sharp-shooters, has recently upgraded sniper rifles and inducted the German PSG1 A1 which carries an enhanced number of 20 rounds to engage and pin down targets for a longer time and is complemented with longer range and extreme accuracy.
The 7.2 kg weighing rifle with telescopic sight is an upgrade of the PSG1 sniper variant used by the marksmen of the National Security Guard till now.
While the usage of drones or Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) by security forces is common, the elite force has armed its crack teams with an indigenously made ‘munition launcher system’ that can carry a pair of 38mm grenades to stealthily drop in enemy territory with the aide and precision of an in-built spy camera.
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The white-coloured drone takes to the air with the help of its four small rotors and is handled remotely by the operator camouflaged at a distance on the ground with the surroundings.
The most lethal and clever gadget that is now adding to the strike potential of the NSG is the Israel-made ‘dogo robot’ that drags its 11.5kg weight towards a holed-up terrorist and informs the commando teams about his exact position and arms and ammunition holding via a camera feed.
The robo can be armed with a small Glock pistol to shoot the target from a joystick control board and provide an intervention window to waiting commandos teams.
It also sports a two-way encrypted audio system that allows the operator to listen and intervene in hostage situations without the flat device itself getting noticed.
The NSG, officials said, has procured few pieces of the dogo robot for its counter-terror and counter-hijack operations task, at a cost of Rs 76 lakh each, and it is named so taking inspiration from the capabilities of the Argentine Mastiff.
A 3D ‘through wall radar’, upgraded from the 2D variant which the NSG is understood to have used during last year’s attack on the Pathankot IAF base, will give the commandos pictures from across a 20-meter thick wall with a 80 degree field of view.
The 14-kg radar sports a price tag of over Rs 1 crore and can be placed on the outside of a closed room like a fly-on-the-wall, an official said.
NSG commanders, taking cognisance of the emerging terror scenario, have prepared a blueprint to equip its commandos with the latest gadgets as they foresee a situation where the contingency force will have to undertake multifarious operations, ranging from closed spaces of a five-star hotel like during 2008 Mumbai attacks and acres of open field at the Pathankot air base.
The force has also procured light-weight (3.8kg) Israeli and US-made ‘corner shot’ rifles that can pin down terrorists and save hostages with precision, without the commando being exposed.
A favourite weapon of the Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) teams and Special Forces, the ‘corner shot’ have also been improvised for better aim after the NSG felt their use after the 26/11 terror attacks.
In order to better protect its commandos right in the line of fire, the force has got new ballistic helmets with glass visor that can save them from eye injuries through splinter or grenade blasts.
The helmets, of the top notch NIJ-III specifications that define the best bullet proof protection, weigh 2.6-kgs.
A special combat gun, SPAS-15, is also now in the combat inventory of the force. The Italian shotgun can hold a six round magazine and is popular among commando forces as it is used to blast the locks of closed doors.
“The NSG did a lot of door busting when a number of rooms in two five-star hotels had to be forcibly opened during the 26/11 attacks in Mumbai. Then door-charge ammunition was used which is crude and could result in collateral damage. The SPAS-15 does this job effectively and efficiently,” the official said.