11 Jan Heart of Steel, Men with Technology Look at the equipment provided for NSG Commandos
Immediately after the 26/11 terror strikes in Mumbai in 2008, there was a lot of criticism of the government for not giving the men the latest weapons and technology to fight the modern-day terrorist. However, the NSG commandos that took on the terrorists at Pathankot were as much man as they were machine.
Some of high-tech equipment acquired immediately after 26/11 were used in an actual battle for the first time at Pathankot. Of course, not all were needed to bring down the attackers, but they were readily available for the Indian forces at Pathankot airbase.
c-130 Hercules aircraft
The versatile aircraft, equipped with infrared detection sensors that help in long-range navigation and surveillance, was used for the first time in such operation at Pathankot. Based at Hindon Air Force Station, the aircraft had landed at Pathankot with NSG commandos and their equipment and was pressed into service to find men hiding in the dense forest and bushes with the help of thermal imaging and multi-sensor surveillance system of the giant aircraft. The aircraft carried out several sorties and circled over the airbase. It was also used during low visibility at the airbase as the aircraft has night vision imaging facility.
BMP-2 armoured personnel.
This is an infantry combat vehicle. It ensures safety of the troops while fighting
Casspir mine-resistant vehicles.
There are landmine-protected infantry mobility vehicles, which can deflect or withstand bullets, rockets or grenades fired by terrorists. Army provided these vehicles for the operation to ensure minimum causality.
Automatic grenade launchers.
These were procured by NSG after 26/11. The commandos had used them in their Mumbai operation after borrowing them from the Army. The 30 mm automatic grenade launcher is handy because of its light weight, one trooper can carry it and mount it. The rate of fire per minute is 400
The weapon allows the shooter to track terrorists around a corner with the help of a video camera, mounted on the gun, which can swivel 63 degrees on either side. NSG had ordered the guns after 26/11 and were used in active operation for the first time in Pathankot.
Radio sets with in-built GPS
Situational awareness equipment like radio sets with in-built GPS chips were procured after 26/11. These enable commandos to keep track of their location during the operation.
SIG assault rifles
The operation also witnessed extensive use of these Swiss-made assault rifles in the operation. These are medium-range guns.
PSG1 semi-automatic sniper
These semi-auto snipers rifles were used by NSG shooters capable of bringing down the enemy from a distance.
Long range bomb detection equipment
The operation also witnessed bomb detection equipment that can detect explosives/bomb at long range distances. They also can detect bombs/explosives buried in the ground.