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Govt to procure over Rs 600 crore mine-protected vehicles for paramilitary forces

Expenditure sanction for Rs 613.96 crore has been issued to paramilitary forces such as CRPF and the BSF for the purchase of additional mine-protected vehicles, bullet-proof jackets, ambulance, etc

Govt to procure over Rs 600 crore mine-protected vehicles for paramilitary forces

The government will soon procure mine-protected vehicles for the movement of paramilitary troops in the Naxalism-hit areas and Jammu and Kashmir and remotely operated vehicles to help anti-terror commando force NSG in encounter sites, officials said Tuesday.

Expenditure sanction for Rs 613.96 crore has been issued to paramilitary forces such as CRPF and the BSF for the purchase of additional mine-protected vehicles, bullet-proof jackets, ambulance, etc.

Expenditure sanction for Rs 16.84 crore has also been issued to the National Security Guard (NSG) for the purchase of seven remotely operated vehicles, a Home Ministry official said.

The forces such as CRPF uses mine-protected vehicles (MPVs) for limited troop movements in areas affected by Naxalism and in Jammu and Kashmir. About six personnel can travel in one such four-wheeled vehicle.

When the additional MPVs will arrive, it will enhance capabilities of the paramilitary forces countering improvised explosives devices (IEDs) in Naxalism-hit areas and in Kashmir Valley, the official said.

The remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), to be procured for the NSG, can carry out surveillance inside buildings, buses, Metro and railway stations and can help forces locate and defuse IEDs without human intervention.

The ROVs can climb a staircase or a slope of at least 45 degrees with a weight of 8kg. It will have modular mount for weapon system (SMG, MP5 and shotgun), de-armer disrupter and real-time viewing system with X-ray, another official said.

The NSG has already procured the Renault Sherpa Light Armoured personal carrier. The Sherpa is highly mobile in war zones and it has a 4.76 litre, 4-cylinder turbo-charged diesel engine.

The 4x4 vehicle has a payload of 2.2 tons and can carry 10 personnel. Even though the vehicle is 11 tons in weight, it has a top speed of 110 kmph and can run 1,000 km with a tank full.

There have been large number of casualties of both civilians and paramilitary personnel in Naxalism-affected areas as well as in Jammu and Kashmir due to explosions of IEDs.

The NSG commandos were deployed when terrorists attacked the Akshardham temple in Gujarat in 2002 and during the Mumbai terror attack in 2008 and the strike at the Indian Air Force station in Pathankot in 2016.

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