Washington, May 20 (ANI): The revelation of 'America's most courageous dog' that served alongside the 80 Navy SEALs during the hunting operation of Osama bin Laden, has focussed people's attention on how the military uses tactical body armour around the body of such war dogs to allow them to operate efficiently in a tactical situation, and remain connected.
Last year, the military spent 86,000 dollars on four tactical vests to outfit Navy Seal dogs.
The SEALs hired Winnipeg, Canada-based contractor K9 Storm to gear up their four-legged, canine partners, which it has used in battle since World War I. K9 Storm's flagship product is the 20,000-30,000 dollars.
The tactical body armour is wired with a collapsible video arm, two-way audio, and other attachable gadgets, Today Tech reports. Various special ops units use the vest, including those in current headlines. It is much more than just body armor," Mike Herstik, a consultant with International K-9 who has trained dogs from Israeli bomb-sniffing units to the Navy SEALs, said.
To make them stay connected in difficult situations, high-definition camera is mounted on the dog's back, and the handlers can see what the dog sees, using handheld monitors.
Jim Slater, who co-founded K9 Storm with his wife Glori, says footage is stable because the entire module is sewn into the vest. Besides, the camera adjusts automatically to night vision during unpredictable light conditions, like middle-of-the-night missions, and the lens is protected by impact-resistant shielding. It is also waterproof.
The armour itself protects against shots from 9mm and .45 magnum handguns.
In Abbottabad, the patented load-bearing harness would have enabled a Navy SEAL handler to rappel from the helicopter with his dog strapped to his body. Once in the compound, the dog could run ahead to scout as the handler issued commands through an integrated microphone and speaker in the armor. The proprietary speaker system enables handlers to relay commands at low levels to the dog.
"Handlers need to see and hear how their dog is responding. In a tactical situation, every second counts. Every gram counts for our clients. So we prefer advanced fibers and innovative textiles. The entire communication module is 20 ounces." The average armor weighs between three to seven pounds, depending on the size of the dog and the level of protection," Slater, a veteran police dog trainer and built the first vest after a prison riot, said. (ANI)