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Posted on May 17, 2011
Mum’s the word when it comes to the particulars surrounding the storm on Osama’s compound. However, several articles have hypothesized what armor the Navy SEAL soldiers’ furry companion wore that day. Last year, the U.S. military spent nearly $90,000 on four K9 Storm tactical vests to outfit Navy SEAL pooches reported Fast Company.
Operating out of Canada, K9 Storm employs advanced armor technologies in vests such as the Intruder. The technologies include double Kevlar and wiring for a collapsible video arm, two-way radio and other attachable tech. The video would allow the dog’s handler to scout out hostile areas. The camera automatically adjusts to lighting conditions with the capability to switch to night vision. As the module is sewn into the vest, the captured footage should be stable.
In addition, the two-way radio provides the handler with the ability to command the dog without being in the same room. Concrete and steel-fortified walls or barriers may interfere with communications between the soldier and his dog, but the encrypted signal can penetrate these obstacles.
Time is invaluable during a military mission and additional weight can affect the dog’s performance. Composed of innovative textiles, the vest only weighs between three and seven pounds, depending on the breed of dog and level of protection. The armor itself can withstand shots from 9mm to .45 magnum firearms.
In matters of rappelling from the helicopter, the load-bearing harness would have allowed the Abbottabad-bound Navy SEAL handler to hook the dog to his gear until they reached the ground. Upon breaching the compound’s walls, the dog would have run ahead to scout out the facility. This is where the camera and radio system would come into play.
Who knows what advances canine military gear will see in the future. One thing is for sure — these doggies’ bites are much worse than their barks.
Should the government continue to spend money on protecting these four-legged soldiers?