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AP: New UAV, chopper to help track down Maoists

News18

Updated: September 26, 2011, 10:23 AM IST
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AP: New UAV, chopper to help track down Maoists
HYDERABAD: In a move to boost the antinaxal operations in the state, the government would soon be utilising an unmanned aerial veh..

HYDERABAD: In a move to boost the antinaxal operations in the state, the government would soon be utilising an unmanned aerial vehicle and a helicopter to track down naxalite movement in deep forests and take up rescue operation. The UAV and the chopper, provided to a state for the first time by Centre, would start operating from October and November respectively.

Speaking to the media on Sunday, directorgeneral of police V Dinesh Reddy said the indigenous unmanned vehicle would operate from Madhurapudi airport in Rajahmundry. "It would help us track down movement (of naxalites) even in thick forests and also send back images," he said.

The unmanned vehicle would carry two payloads, one of which would take images and send the same to the control centre in a flash. "The night vision cameras can take pictures at an angle of even 360 degrees. Naxalites sometimes cook food in forests and even the smoke can be detected," he added.

The vehicle is presently stationed at the Begumpet airport and it took images of the zoo park on a trial basis. "The animals and zoo staff could be easily identified in the images," the DGP said.

The unmanned aerial vehicle can fly for eight hours at a stretch and would be used to scan four districts of Telangana in Dhandakaranya forest and in East Godavari, Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram, Srikakulam districts and also parts of Chhattisgarh and south and central Orissa on the AndhraOrissa Border (AOB) forest area.

The other payload carried by the craft will be able to detect voice signals transmitted through VHF and UHF sets and send the message to the control station. "With imagery and voice tracking, our fields units would be able to react swiftly against the naxalites," Dinesh Reddy said.

The Centre has also provided a helicopter which can carry 17 persons at a time. "Moving to interior areas by road takes time. With the help of the helicopter, the personnel can be dropped with the help of ropes and it would also come handy in rescue operations," the top cop said.

The maintenance cost of the helicopter, which comes up to ` 1 crore per month, would be borne by the ministry of home affairs. The chopper can be used for two hours a day, that is 60 hours of flight in a month.

On the number of Maoists, the DGP said there are around 340 underground cadre in the state. Of them 200 are outside while 140 live along the borders.

First Published: September 26, 2011, 10:23 AM IST
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