Equipment Wish-list Of CRPF
||As the lead counter-insurgency paramilitary force of India, the Central Reserve Police Force’s (CRPF) areas of operation are as varied as the role the force is called upon to play. From counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast to anti-Maoist operations in the forested areas of central India, CRPF is also frequently deployed to unarmed protesting control crowd in urban areas, as well as perform static guard duties. Clearly, it not only needs the most modern equipment possible, but also an eclectic mix. This is what its wish-list looks like.
• Long-range Sniper Rifles to be used in ambush.
• UBGL (Under Barrel Grenade Launcher): A weapon that will prove very effective in negating the ambush/multiple ambushes of the Maoists.
• RL (Rocket Launcher) But this RL should be different from the present RL (i.e. 84mm CGRL, Carl Gustav Rocket Launcher) used by CRPF/CoBRA in Naxal areas. Although effective, it is very bulky and cannot be carried on shoulders for long in anti-Maoist operations, where CRPF has to conduct long range patrols for about 30-40 km. The weight of CGRL alone is 14.2 kg and if one wants to carry four rounds of ammunition with them then they have to bear additional weight of around 12.5kg on their shoulders. The CRPF/CoBRA needs the modified light weight version of RL.
• MP-5 Rifles: Though some of these are present in the CoBRA battalions, ideally we need at least 90 per battalion.
• Glock Pistols.
• MGL (Multi Grenade launcher): A big ‘revolver’ looking grenade launcher that is being used by the Rashtriya Rifles in Kashmir for counter-insurgency operations. This is a comparatively light weapon, which works on the principal of ‘revolver’ and grenades can be fired very easily with the aimed fire provisions.
• Modified version of Russian made Automatic Grenade Launcher System (AGLS). Presently, CRPF has AGS-30 which is bulky — 10.5kg without ammunition. Also it cannot be fired without mount which weighs around six kg. With mount and ammunition it weighs over 20kg.
• X-95 Rifles: Though CoBRA battalions have a few of these, there is a requirement for more.
• MMGs: Light weight medium machine guns.
• Lightweight bullet-proof head gear or helmets.
• Light weight 360 degrees bullet-proof jackets.
• Mine Detectors: CRPF also needs high-end deep search metal detectors and explosive vapour detectors. The former senses the presence of metal beneath the ground while the later detects the vapour emanating from explosives used in IEDs. Both are integral part of IEDs.
• RCIED Jammers: This can be used with CRPF convoys or foot patrol so that IEDs can be detected, pre-emptively destroyed or prevented from getting detonated when troops are passing through. In Jammu and Kashmir, CRPF is deployed on Road Opening Duties where these will come handy. MHA has recently authorised CRPF with 25 vehicle mounted/static RCIED jammers.
• Good quality light-weight night vision equipments such as Hand Held Thermal Imagers (HHTI) and Night Vision Binoculars. Night vision binoculars serve the dual purpose of making the things visible during night as well as magnifying the image.
• Telescopic sights to increase the effectiveness of long range flat trajectory weapons such as LMG and MMGs.
• Satellite devices or (Micro) UAVs for digital mapping of Red corridors, or for strategic and swift movement of troops. Micro UAVs for reconnaissance and surveillance. CRPF also requires good numbers of its own UAVs to strengthen its intelligence setup.
• Night sight for all kinds of rifle used by CRPF/CoBRA so that troops and their weapons are not rendered blind.
• All terrain anti-landmine Armoured Personnel Carriers. For example, Infantry Combat Vehicles fitted with light and medium machine guns. In addition to negotiating the tough land terrains, these vehicles can also swim across the rivers. These vehicles can also be equipped with night vision facility as well as jammers, mines and explosive vapour detector. In this regard, the overseas programme of MRAP (Mine Resistant Ambush Protected) and Casper can be taken note of. According a rough estimate, CRPF alone requires more than 500 mine protected vehicles in its operational fleet.
• Run flat systems for the special operational vehicles used by CRPF. Run flat tyres have the capacity to sustain the movement of vehicles for around 50-100kms even after being hit by the bullets.
• Helicopters. At least in range offices and all CoBRA headquarters)
• Medium and Heavy Recovery Vans.
• Night vision navigation provision equipped vehicles so that movement of CRPF vehicles during night can be kept secret, because this system will allow us to navigate without switching the vehicle lights on.
• Mobile kitchen van to cater for timely supply of fresh and hygienic meals to the troops. CRPF has already received the authorisation-cum-expenditure sanction for Mobile Kitchen Vans from the MHA last year.
• Water scooters for riverine patrolling, for example, in the Dal Lake in Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir and other such insurgency prone areas. Recently MHA conveyed its approval for authorisation of water scooters to CRPF.
• Backhoe loader/JCB for clearing obstructions frequently erected by Maoists. It will also be used by engineering cum pioneering wing of CRPF for swift and temporary construction of camp sites.
• Multi-utility ambulance with BLS (Basic Life Support) systems for emergency evacuation of injured CRPF troops from operation theatres to base hospitals through land and air routes. CRPF also requires normal ambulances as well as helicopters fitted with BLS (Basic Life Support) systems.
• Light weight satellite (compact) phones. CRPF has a total requirement of more than 600 sat phones.
• Mobile and wireless communication interceptor so that conversations of the Maoists can be tracked/traced.
• GPS with long duration battery backup and GPS tracker.
• High-end wireless communication equipments with scrambler facility so that CRPF personnel can communicate with the troops as well as headquarters without any hindrance. The current communication sets do not work in deep jungles or in bad weather). Also such communication equipments must have self/centre locking or self incapacitating provisions so that in cases of loss of sets during encounters they can be technically destroyed to prevent misuse by Maoists.
• Personnel tracker system (satellite-based) to monitor the movement of troops during highly sensitive operations particularly in treacherous terrains and deep jungles in the Maoist-infested areas. It will help in providing real time and pin point reinforcement/rescue supports.
• IP-based exchanges for better connectivity within and outside the organisation.
• Digital VHF and HF sets for uninterrupted and better communication. Voice clarity high, less battery consumptions/ high encryption/ inbuilt GPS. As of now, CRPF is using analog sets for communication.
• Manpack HF/VHF sets: Compact and portable sets for communications during operations in far flung areas when the troops are far away from their base.
• Solar battery chargers for on-the-move charging of batteries of our communication systems.
• Integrated communication system to integrate all the different modes of communication systems used by specialized/general duty battalions of CRPF engaged in a particular operation.
• Trunking of all communication equipments: A kind of intranet of radio communication systems. CRPF requires its own TETRA (Terrestrial trunked Radio).
• Encryption equipments like secfax/sectel being developed/ marketed by BEL.
Protective Gears/Simulation Aids/Tentage and Clothing
• Anti-venom kit
• Quick clot medicinal powder with antibacterial substances in sufficient quantity.
• Good quality light-weight ready to eat food with energetic nutrients.
• Sweat-absorbent uniform clothing for hot and humid atmosphere of Maoist-infested areas.
• Modified firing ranges, simulators to enable the troops to get first hand experience of firing using night vision sights.
• Sensor jackets for warfare training so that real experience of guerrilla fighting can be simulated.
• Good quality harness and haversack with mosquito mesh.
• Extreme light weight easy to fold camouflage tents to protect the moving troops from rain and other extreme climate conditions. Troops can also sleep in these tents during routine offensive against Maoists, for rest and recuperation.
• Groin protector to protect the vital organs during mine blasts.
• Bomb detection and disposal equipments like bomb suits/bomb blankets, bomb container/isolator etc.
• Good quality slithering ropes, seat harness, carabiners, heavy duty gloves for heli-slithering.