UAVs to keep tab on Naxals

Unmanned vehicles fitted with high-powered radars
Last Updated : 22 October 2010, 17:05 IST
Last Updated : 22 October 2010, 17:05 IST

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The UAVs, also known as a remotely piloted vehicle, will be flown in the dense forests where “domination exercises” by the security forces are currently fraught with multiple dangers.

Sources told Deccan Herald that the UAVs with strong radars could penetrate three to four layers of obstructions and catch–infra red–human heat and “ monitor” the Maoist cadre movements in the jungle from a safe distance.

To aid jungle warfare

“Its use once acquired will greatly help in the jungle warfare,” they said. Proposals for their acquisition are already on the table. The cost may be Rs 2 crore and more.
The UAVs equipped with “thermal imaginary” is useful as in an area with thick foliage and human movement can be easily detected by comparing human body  temperature with the temperature of his surroundings “which is bound to be less”, they said.

A UAV is a reusable craft, capable of controlled, sustained and  level flight and powered by a jet engine. They could be remotely piloted or pre-programmed for an autonomous flight.

The UAVs will be put on a reconnaissance flight to locate the improvised explosive devices (IEDs) which claimed hundreds of police and civil lives in the treacherous terrains of Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Maharashtra.
Asked about road mines, they said the cases of freshly laid mines are less in states like Chattisgarh where they have been put much before the road was made “pakka”.

“IEDs are planted when the roads are under construction and yet to be metalled. An innocuous-looking  wire is left out. The blast is carried out at will on the pakka road with unsuspecting travellers caught by a surprise”, sources said. 

Maoists drop the IEDs when roads are still under construction. “The laying of the mine is carried out with the knowledge and tactical understanding with the road contractors. All the mined roads are earmarked by the Maoists who chose their time to blast them.
“They need to join the wires with the battery to cause the blast”, said a top official overseeing the Naxal-affected regions.

The official said these are not remote-activated mines.
“Use of remote requires antenna which may be detected in a combing operation,” he said. Pressure mines have switches which trigger blast if under pressure of vehicle, man or any other objects.

The use of  UAVs would  reduce the police casualties and provide more elbow room to security forces during their area domination exercises.

Americans and Israelis are already using mine-detecting vehicles equipped with radars that can detect mines from a distance of two meters.

“The government may look into these vehicles too”, sources said.

Published 22 October 2010, 17:05 IST

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