Delhi airport to get bullet-resistant vehicles by January-end
Delhi airport will soon get a fleet of six bullet-resistant vehicles (BRVs) equipped with the latest weapons and space for up to four armed personnel to minimise the damage of a terrorist attack.Updated: Jan 04, 2019 07:32 IST
Delhi airport will soon get a fleet of six bullet-resistant vehicles (BRVs) equipped with the latest weapons and space for up to four armed personnel to minimise the damage of a terrorist attack.
The BRVs, currently undergoing ballistic testing in Ahmadabad, Gujarat, is expected to be rolled out by the end of this month. Delhi airport will be the first in the country to have BRVs, followed by Mumbai, Chennai, Ahmedabad and other sensitive airports in the coming months, according to the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), which provides security to 61 of the 100 operational airports in the country.
Private airport operators are also hopeful to procure the BRVs in the coming months. The Airports Authority of India (AAI) is also in the process of finalising specification for airports operated by them in connection with the induction of the BRVs.
“The pattern of terrorist attack has changed world over. Lone wolf attack is now the latest trend and not hijack. You cannot minimise the damage if you don’t have a bullet proof vehicle,” said a CISF official on condition of anonymity. “A BRV will help us in neutralising the suspect without exposing our personnel to any danger,” the official said.
The CISF, which provides security to 61 of the 100 operational airports in the country, had asked for bulletproof vehicle at sensitive airports following which the Bureau for civil Aviation Security (BCAS) issued a notification in August 2017 asking airport operators to replace the existing Quick Reaction Team (QRT) vehicles with BRVs.
According to sources, nearly 15 vehicles that are currently part of QRTs and patrol squads are not quick enough to combat a terror attack. The CISF fleet currently includes Scorpio, Bolero, Sedan and Gypsy. While Bolero and Gypsy are used for patrolling, Scorpio is mostly used as the QRT vehicle, with trained commandos deployed in it.
A CISF official said on condition of anonymity that the vehicle will not survive in the eventuality of a terror attack. Sedans are used by senior officials for travel.
The CISF had in October 2017 conducted a trial of armoured vehicle that can withstand up to 10 kg of explosive and numerous bullets but decided to go with a smaller vehicle for the QRT fleet .
“QRT is the most important part of airport security and we have almost a dozen vehicles which are part of our QRT,” said the CISF official.
“These vehicles not only patrol outside and inside the airport but also around its periphery, which is 43 km long. Being the most sensitive installation in the country, we cannot use vehicles that are in bad condition,” the official added. Over 4,500 CISF personnel are entrusted with the security of Delhi airport.They are deployed at terminal numbers 1, 2 and 3.
First Published: Jan 04, 2019 07:29 IST