September 18, 2008

India Defence Laboratory Offers Government Anti-Terror Equipment

Text of report by Indian news agency PTI

[by N. C. Bipindra]

New Delhi, [Thursday] 18 September: With terrorists striking Delhi and some major cities, the country's premier research and development institution DRDO [Defence Research and Development Organization] is hard-selling three of its anti-explosive devices to the Home Ministry to tackle the threat.

"We are in discussions with the Home Ministry to sell our three devices - a remotely-operated bomb disposal vehicle (ROV), "Sujav" Electronic Support Measure and "Safari" Electronic Counter Measure - to agencies dealing with explosive-related cases," a top DRDO scientist told PTI here Thursday.

Developed by Pune-based Research and Development Establishment (Engineers) of the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), the ROV could be used for disposing of bombs without the personnel coming in contact with explosive material.

Since the time army began using the devices in insurgency- affected Jammu and Kashmir [Indian-administered Kashmir], Rajasthan and northeastern states three years ago, they have been of great attraction both among the personnel and the public, who got to watch the machine in action on several occasions.

ROV robot could be used by the defence and paramilitary forces for mine detection and nuclear-biological-chemical (NBC) threat surveys too, and it does the job without exposing the men to threats from anti-personnel mines or NBC weapons, DRDO scientists said.

A totally indigenous product, the robot has been developed by a team of 10 engineers about five years ago and it promises to drastically cut down loss of life of personnel in the urban warfare setting.

Another version of the ROV robot - its controller unit works from 500 metres - is equipped with four cameras and an extending arm that can be used to pick up suspicious objects to check for explosives and to defuse bombs.

Using an inbuilt x-ray scanner to detect explosive devices in a suitcase or a bag, the ROV uses an onboard water jet to fire a stream of water capable of piercing a suitcase or half-an-inch of plywood to defuse the bomb, scientists said. Suspicious objects can be scanned with the x-ray and the water jet can destroy the batteries which power the bombs, they said.

The robot, which has an endurance of three hours, can also climb stairs and is therefore useful in multi-storeyed buildings where bombs have been placed.

The ROV is also designed for carrying out nuclear, biological and chemical reconnaissance and can even monitor contamination levels using its sensors and detectors.

The DRDO is also proposing to the Home Ministry that it purchase other indigenously developed counterinsurgency assets for its anti- terror operations, particularly for jamming radio signals used to trigger bombs.

First among the two products were "Sujav", a compact communication electronic warfare suit which is basically a frequency jamming equipment. Sujav has an inbuilt ability for direction finding, search and monitoring capabilities covering 30 to 1,000 MHz and jamming within 30 to 500 MHz frequency range.

Another product is the "Safari" device for jamming improvised explosive devices (IEDs) basically to ensure protection of convoys moving in troubled areas.

"What DRDO is offering to the Home Ministry is a combination of both Sujav and Safari to ensure both electronic support measure and electronic countermeasure. That way we would be able to ensure safety of vital installations across the country, security of marketplaces and also VVIPs," the scientists added.

Originally published by PTI news agency, New Delhi, in English 1025 18 Sep 08.

(c) 2008 BBC Monitoring South Asia. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All rights Reserved.