Multipurpose light vehicle DOZOR

Multipurpose light vehicle DOZOR 4

Multipurpose light vehicles trace their origins from World War II, when numerous warring armies have used a variety of light-duty vehicles. It was the first major “mechanical” war with crucial relying on a variety of vehicles, from motorcycles to the heavy trucks. Each army had its own version of a small car. Sometimes it’s a case of ordinary civilian cars or trucks minimally adapted wartime use. Among the pioneers in the development of lightweight military vehicle was the German army, which in the thirties of the last century in the development of modern mechanized army launched many programs. Most popular German army light vehicle  during this period was undoubtedly VW Kübel. It was produced in more than 50 000 copies.

Among the many vehicles are still devotes one legend, the American Jeep, since 1940th produced in excess of 600 000 copies. Supplied also the allied forces and has been successfully used on all fronts. He played a major role in the development of the first postwar generation light tactical multipurpose vehicles worldwide. History repeated itself after forty years ago when another American design mapped out the future direction of development of light tactical vehicles.

The U.S. Army 1979th issued specifications for a new generation of vehicles that will replace all former light vehicles. The concept of a new vehicle called the HMMWV (High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle). American company AM General during 1980th presented its proposal for a modern light vehicles for military future in response to this specification. It is a technologically advanced vehicle with good opportunities to master difficult terrain. Was designed to perform a variety of tasks, from logistics to combat. The basic chassis is designed so that it can be modified in a number of specialized versions. Powered by a diesel engine and has an automatic transmission to facilitate the driving and reduce driver fatigue.

Start of production

In March, 1983. Army has chosen the solution of AM General (the suggestions offered and company Chrysler Defense and Teledyne Continental) and started production of 2334 HMMWV vehicles. It’s awkward and difficult to spell name. In official military nomenclature it’s replaced by nothing more attractive name M998. So it became globally popular for its sympathetic nickname Humvee.

Humvee was sentenced to instant success. Good and effective vehicle quickly gained the undivided sympathy of those who are most important in the entire story – a soldier. Since the start of the 1983rd it was made around 200 000 vehicles, and still producing new vehicles for many armies around the world. When the soldiers began to meet with a new vehicle and were somewhat surprised by his appearance and they called it “a Jeep on steroids.” This statement Humvee earned primarily by its “muscular” look, which was a clear example of design in which functionality determines the shape, not the other way around.

Appearance of Humvee is specific, and at the time when it appeared and began to go into operational use U.S. military (mid 80-ies of the last century) military vehicles on the market there was nothing like that. While most of these vehicles was The Box, tall, flat surfaces and dimensions similar civilian vehicles, Humvee was offered a different approach. Designers have opted for a broad and low vehicle with four large wheels placed in corners with small bodywork overhangs. The vehicle looks like it was “taped” to the ground. Retained the classic concept car with an engine in the front, space for the crew in the middle and rear of the leisure that adapts to a variety of tasks.

Since the introduction of the Humvee became popular among soldiers, and because of its versatility has taken a lot of tasks in the armed forces. Versions vehicles range from the simple trucks, transporters, patrol vehicles to specialized for particular tasks. So the Humvee used as a chassis for PVO systems, such vehicle is equipped with anti-tank missiles, the vehicle for the link, an ambulance, a vehicle for electronic warfare, etc.

Except in the U.S. Army, Humvee soon found a place for myself and many other allied armies. After the 1991 Gulf War. it became clear that the Humvee is excellent vehicle, with a well-balanced ratio of usability and capabilities. Gulf war made Humvee globally popular and approached designers around the world as a new model of “ideal” light tactical MPV. A number of manufacturers around the world have seized on developing their own vehicles inspired Humvees. Some companies have decided to play it safe and acceded to only certain modifications already proven vehicles. Such an approach shows good Mowag Swiss company that is based on a model developed by the U.S. own modification under the name Eagle. Mowag of the American company AM General procures basic parts and components, some components are in turn developed yourself. Eagle is made in three series, each was more advanced and better than the previous one. This is a custom armored vehicle reconnaissance, surveillance, patrols and other tasks. Proved to be a very good choice for a peacekeeping mission.

Ukrainian solution

After the end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Soviet Union, numerous companies in the East ran into difficulties. Orders are drastically reduced, traditional authorities have fallen into long-term financial difficulties that were quickly transferred to producers.
Ukrainian company from Kharkov Morozov has vast experience in designing tanks, was one of the leading manufacturers of tanks in the former Soviet Union. Orders of the former Soviet Army have ensured the job and the means to develop new models. Disintegration of the Soviet Union disappeared secure orders and the company turned to developing new products and finding new markets.
As for new products, the company has after market research concluded that light multipurpose vehicles can be easiest to sell, because for them, the government and the majority of demand. Many armies have now engaged in various peacekeeping missions around the world. The company has concluded that there is a need for a modern multi-purpose vehicle concept and reasonable price.

His experience, over 70 years producing various heavy military vehicles, decided to put into a simple and interesting solution to the market. One of the important elements in the development of the vehicle is its multi-functionality and the ability to perform various tasks.
In developing fructify, as they called it, apparently, as the philosophy of design and appearance played a major role and a Humvee. The result is an interesting vehicle that is offered in two versions, basic and armored. Such an approach is now very fashionable and nearly every tactical vehicle can easily be bought in non armored and armored version. The difference is only in approach. Some manufacturers have decided on special armor kits, which are set to basic, unarmored vehicle. Others are opting for the development of special armored versions based on the basic vehicle, and the result can be the vehicle that the external appearance differs from the basic model. However, this difference was only out because they are the basic structural elements and subsystems are identical. It is precisely for such an approach decided Ukrainian company.


Fundamental vehicle of Dozor Dozor-A. Multipurpose tactical vehicle field with good opportunities to master difficult terrain. When constructing and designing vehicles specifically to take account of efficiency and multifunctionality. Provided for various types of missions, from the transport of people and goods to the towing trailers.
In designing and constructing engineers have tried, and failed, to get a vehicle with a large range of capacity. Due to the application of all-wheel drive, obtained a good terrain mobility. Good mobility and easily overcome small obstacles contribute to the large wheels.

Dozor-A is suitable for use in various types of units, from infantry units, rapid intervention forces, special forces, and to logistic units. Of course, it is possible to turn in a vehicle-mount various types of combat systems. Because civil seems suitable for use in peacekeeping missions, and is equipped with all the necessary equipment to safely drive in civilian traffic. Of course, except for the military is also suitable for other users who need an effective specialized vehicle. Among these are certainly among firefighters, civil defense and protection services, and rescue and various commercial companies that operate in inaccessible areas without good road infrastructure.

The company says that the vehicle can be converted to various versions, such as the police and military police, a vehicle for providing technical and logistical support, an ambulance, a vehicle to transport people, trail patrol vehicle, truck.
Of course, these are just variations developed by the company, it is possible to customize the vehicle and other duties, if the need arises.

Vehicle weight is 3500 kg, and it is the maximum capacity up to 2 tons. The vehicle has a standard configuration for this type of vehicle. The motor is forward, in the midst of a crew that comes in and out through four side doors. At the end of the vehicle’s cargo area that can be covered with a tarpaulin. In this space can accommodate people, but it is primarily intended for the transport of cargo or installation of special equipment, depending on the version of the vehicle. The space crew has room for five people, four seats are classic, and the fifth set and fold in the last row on the center console. Applied to a solution that used almost all manufacturers of such vehicles. Specifically, the central ridge that runs through the shaft that transfers power to the back wheels is usually a problem when designing the interior of the vehicle because it takes up space. For passenger cars it was done so that the passenger compartment is usually placed above the central ridge and above the flooring. However, in military vehicles is changed using the seat and placed around the central ridge, directly on the floor, in order to save on the amount of vehicle. The negative consequence of this solution is that the one who sits on the seat, the switch does not have the level of comfort as they do in other seats, center console because it does not allow for easy landing legs on the floor. In fact, sitting in the seat recalls the seating position of the motor or scooter. The cargo space can accommodate six more so that the vehicle can transport a total of 11 people.

Dozor A-5200 is a long, wide and tall 2400 2030 (if measured height then tarpaulins 2335) millimeters. Distance body to the ground is 400 mm. A vehicle driven diesel engine in three variants. Two four-cylinder engines, power 90 (122KS) and 100 kW (136KS) while the third šestcilindrični power 145 kW or 197 hp. All the engines are turbo aftercooler with compressed air. Četverocilindriči models force transmitted through the mechanical and šestcilindrični via automatic transmissions. The vehicle has a top speed of 120 km / h, and with a full tank of fuel can walk 1000 km. From accessories Dozor-A may have a roof rack on the gun, and can be fitted with a satellite navigation system SN-3003 Basalt, AC power 4 kW, infrared device for night driving, the radio Self recovery winch and winch.


Armored vehicles Dozor version differs from the basic version and it is evident at first glance. So, with the simple letters A and B precisely know which version of the word. Dozor-B is actually an armored personnel carrier to transport soldiers while protected from the effects of NBC weapons and shooting equipment. Vehicle to transport people, due to the favorable configuration and good load capacity can be used as an armored truck or vehicle for evacuation. It is suitable as a reconnaissance vehicle for NBC reconnaissance vehicle, command vehicle or ambulance.

Because of the use of armor Dozor-B is still harder than the Dozor-A. Combat weight Dozor-B is 6300 kg, length and width are the same as the A version, while the car is slightly longer, 2640 mm, and the machine gun on the roof. The machine gun is NSBT-12.7 on the podium with a remote control. By direction covers all 360 stupjneva and in elevation from – 3 to +68 degrees. The machine gun has a tank with 450 bullets.
Choice of powertrain is the same as in version A, and the maximum speed is between 90-105 km / h, depending on the engine. All other equipment is identical to that of the A version. The only important difference is that Dozor-B has NBC protection system, which makes it a serious vehicle capable of a wider range of possible tasks. Appearance variations Dozor-B differs primarily because of the new armored body with sloping sides. Then, some people movers was extended to the last load of the vehicle so that you have a large internal volume which can accommodate 11 soldiers. The crew consists of three members, and the assault troops 8.

Members assault sat in the rear of the vehicle, the six-seater with sides slanting to the longitudinal axis of the vehicle. This solution is used im likely to obtain more space, and that the soldiers do not hit your legs while in a vehicle. Another two members of the assault seated on chairs facing in the direction of travel, the seat behind the driver and passenger.
Directly behind the driver’s seat and front passenger, in the middle of the vehicle, set the seat for the third member of the crew. He sits less comfortably because the front and under the seat is no place for the feet. The problem is solved by the central ridge traditionally increased by height so obtained is sufficient space for the passenger compartment that is set above the axle to transmit power to the back wheels.
The last part of the vehicle is further increased to ensure as much of the interior and pleasant stay planted. Dozor-B has three doors, two side for the driver and front passenger, and the third at the rear. Through the door into the vehicle enters and comes out assault of 8 soldiers.

Tactical vehicles Dozor show all the characteristics of modern lightweight multipurpose vehicles. With modern conception goes great degree of utilization which is most clearly seen in the Simple customization for a variety of tasks. Selection option izmđeu standard and screened versions provide potential users of power fitting in basically the same vehicle that can perform a variety of tasks. Such an approach facilitates logistical support during its working life, all vehicles because it has many of the same parts. Their use and maintain nearly identical and the training of troops simplified and accelerated.

If we ask that Dozor target market, the answer is probably that it is a less-developed countries, the former Soviet Union, and the markets of Africa and Asia. While developed countries are working alone or similar vehicles or buy them from famous Western manufacturers, many less developed countries do not have the money for such an approach. Western manufacturers offer cutting-edge products, but at high prices that are unavailable in many countries. Because the eastern producers, such as the Ukrainian Morozov, Google hopes to offer conceptually modern vehicles that are cheaper still stimulate the interest of those who need such a vehicle but do not have enough money to buy them from famous Western manufacturers.

In this case, cheaper does not mean less quality, as is the experience to date with vehicles eastern manufacturers showed. Specifically, they lower the price of simpler structure, easier methods of manufacturing vehicles with less advanced electronics to manage and control, lower labor costs and making the rough and finish. The former are products of the East showed robust and highly reusable. You may not offer superior comfort and ergonomics as well as Western rivals, but in any case able to do the job for which they were intended. And there are many customers who appreciate just such properties.

Vehicle Dozor-A Dozor-B
mass, kg 3500 6300
crew 5 +6 3 +8
length, mm 5200 5200
width, mm 2400 2400
height, mm 2030 2640
drive 4 × 4 4 × 4
autonomy, km 1000 1000
motor, kW 90-145 90-145

Definition of SWAT teams and their history

Definition of SWAT teams and their history 4

SWAT team marks an elite tactical unit in various law enforcement agencies. SWAT stands for Special Weapons And Tactics  They are trained to perform high-risk emerging domain features when regular police officers can’t. The duties and tasks of members of SWAT teams include: the release of hostages and anti-terrorist operations, the implementation of high-risk arrests and search, arrests of barricaded suspects and interception of heavily armed criminals. SWAT teams are often equipped with specialized firearms including vending machines, assault rifles, shotguns, a weapon to control the masses (riot weapons), stun grenades, sniper rifles. They have specialized equipment including heavy chain-mail, ballistic shields, weapons for attacks, armored vehicles, night vision and optics, motion detectors for determining the position of a hostage or hijackers in closed structures.

The first SWAT team was formed inspector Daryl Gates in the Los Angeles Police Structure Police, 1968. year. Since then, many American and Canadian police forces, especially in the major cities and the federal and state levels of government, have established their own elite units under various names. These units, in addition to its formal name, in recognition of the global carry SWAT name.

SWAT teams and their tasks

Tasks of SWAT teams include:

  • Rescuing Hostages
  • Riot Control
  • Securing the perimeter against sniping
  • Providing superior offensive power in certain situations, such as when a suspect is barricaded
  • Rescue officers and civilians under fire
  • Anti-terrorist operations
  • Resolving high-risk situations with minimal losses, injuries, or damage to infrastructure
  • Resolving situations involving barricaded subjects (specifically covered by the team hostage and barricade)
  • Stabilize the situation involving high-risk suicidal subject
  • Implementation of arrest warrants and search warrants
  • Providing additional security at special events
  • Special silent operation with silenced weapons
  • Special Training

Featured events SWAT teams

First significant appearance of SWAT team occured on 09th December 1969th in Los Angeles (SWAT LAPD) in the 4-hour confrontation with members of the “Black Panther”. Pantera eventually delivered, with three violations “Panther” and three policeman. 1974th The SWAT is generally amicable as the need for the city of Los Angeles and the district’s.

In the afternoon, on 17 May 1974th part of a group Symbionese Liberation Army (SLA), heavily armed  guerrillas, barricaded in residence at 54th Street Compton Avenue in Los Angeles. Millions of people have followed the siege by live transmission via the small screen and radio, and this crisis been a top issue in the newspaper a few days later. Negotiations have begun with barricaded suspects several times, before and after SWAT thrown tear gas. Police did not open fire until the SLA had not opened fire with automatic weapons and semiautomatic. SLA members fired 3772 bullets. No one from citizens or police officer was not injured. All invaders inside were killed in action.

During the shooting, there was a fire inside the residence. The official cause of the fire is unknown, but police sources speculated that one of the shots hit Molotov cocktail made by the suspects. Another thundering to constantly throw tear gas, which has a function of burning chemicals at high temperatures, has contributed to the development of the fire. All six attackers suffered multiple wounds from firearms.

At the time of the SLA shootout, SWAT teams were reorganized into teams of 10 people, each team consisted of two subsoil of 5 people named element. Each “element” had a leader, two strikers, Boy Scouts and the last keeper. They were armed with one sniper rifle, two semi-automatic rifles and two shotguns. SWAT officers also carried revolvers in shoulder holsters. Standard equipment included a first aid kit, gloves and a gas mask. At a time when officers are longer revolvers with a capacity of six bullets and shotguns were significant changes they are armed with semi-automatic rifles. Confrontation with heavily armed members of the SLA, sent a SWAT team in the continued use of bulletproof vests and automatic weapons of all kinds.

The massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado on 20 April 1999th was another specific event for SWAT teams and police. As stated in the article, the Christian Science Monitor’s “Instead of waiting to come on the scene by members of SWAT teams, the regular police should provide training and weapons to make on-site performing actions involving incidents with the use of deadly force by the suspects.”

Article was later revealed that the patrol officers began to get guns, and heavy chain-mail and ballistic helmets, equipment that is traditionally associated with SWAT teams. The idea is to equip and train patrol officers to be able to provide a rapid response to an active situation associated with gunfire. In these situations, is no longer acceptable to be close to the area and are waiting for SWAT teams.

As an example, the instructions for the conduct of police in Minneapolis, says, “The members of the Minneapolis Police, should be familiar with the fact that, in many situations, an attacker who shoots innocent lives are lost in the first minutes of the incident. In some situations, this dictates acitivities quickly to save lives. “

The Coastal Rangers – Kustjägarna

Sweden military, Swedish Coastal Rangers

The Coastal Rangers are an elite special force from Sweden and they are part of the Amphibious platoon in the Swedish Navy. Their main role, in the event of war, would be to retake islands and parts of the Swedish coast from the enemy. The Coastal Rangers, in Sweden known as Kustjägarna, undergo a rigorous training and selection process and they are one of the most highly trained units in the Swedish Armed Forces (SAF).

The Coastal Rangers are equipped and trained for insertions from the sea, mostly using a boat called Warboat 90. The special-made boat is 15 metres long and capable of speeds over 35 knots. It can stop very quickly indeed – from 35 to 0 knots within 10 metres! The Coastal Rangers are also trained for silent insertion with a special-made canoe.

Training and selection of the Swedish Coastal Rangers

The Commando selection to become member of the Coastal Rangers includes a forced march (6.5 kilometres with 20 kg pack to be completed in 42 minutes), and a steeplechase course over water and land across 65 kilometres with a pack. The Ranger course includes an endurance march with full pack and canoeing 200 kilometres in 48 hours.

The Attack Divers course at the Coastal Ranger/Commando School (Kustjaegarskolan) lasts nine months. It includes diving using the Aga-Oxydive close-circuit systems. One of the last major tests the divers have to pass before graduation is a two kilometre swim between different islands, which must have an accuracy of 10 metres from start to the end point.

Weapons and equipment

The Coastal Rangers are equipped with a wide range of modern weapons, very similar as world’s most elite forces of similar purpose. Most common is the Swedish AK5 (a highly modified FN FNC) with underslung Colt M203 grenade launcher. They also use the AK4 (Heckler & Koch G3) as well as the KSP90 (FN Minimi LMG). Officers can in addition use the Glock 17/19 semi-auto pistol. They also have available a range of anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons.

The Coastal Rangers was created in 1956 and modeled after the British post-World War II marine commando forces such as the Special Boat Service (SBS) and U.S. Underwater Demolition Teams, with the objective to create a highly mobile force which had the flexibility to operate behind enemy lines and conduct raids against an invading force in the littoral areas of Sweden. The Coastal Rangers was during the late parts of the cold war used mainly as a very highly trained light infantry/commando unit whose main tasks were amphibious landings and assaults.

Like the United States Navy SEALs, the Coastal Rangers / Kustjägarna also have the trident as their insignia. During their training, the Kustjägarna are also awarded a green beret just like in the US Special Forces and the Ranger tab just like in the United States Army Ranger School.

Laser Target Designator (LTD) for special forces

Laser Target Designators for special forces

In the modern warfare, the usage of so-called ‘smart’ bombs – such as the Paveway series used in Operation Allied Force against Serb forces in Kosovo – allow a warhead to be delivered with pinpoint accuracy against a designated target – even to the point of flying a bomb in through the doorway or ventilation shaft of a hardened shelter in high-percentage of accuracy.

Today, the Laser designators are necessary portable devices carried by various special forces units such Air Controllers units for the purpose of marking ground targets for friendly air assets. Laser designator consists of an optical sight, coded laser emitter and range finder. Regular Laser Target Designators (LTD) are available in various sizes but are usually mounted on tripods to ensure a stable aiming platform.

The feature provided by the Laser Target Designators have many advantages over the conventional ‘dumb’ or ‘iron’ bombs dropped from aircraft and left to fall unguided because the Laser Guided Bombs (LGBs) reduce the risk of collateral damage and that enables the attacking force to do considerably greater damage to enemy targets and resources. In most cases, to ensure high accuracy in marking targets and aiming those bombs Laser Target Designator (LTD) is used.

The crucial point, to make all this work is that the target must be illuminated accurately with a laser beam to guide the bomb. The laser target designator (LTD) is not only used by ground forces. It may be also mounted on an aircraft, or otherwise deployed on the ground, often by special forces operating behind enemy lines to locate targets and ‘designate’ them for attacking air assets.

British military use the Pilkington LF25 laser target designator (LTD). This type of Laser Target Designator only 8 kg and that makes it ideal for the special forces because it can be carried by a single soldier, either in its transit case or in a bergen. The instructions recommending it to be set up on a small folding tripod. The Pilkington LF25 have a built-in x10 telescope through which the operator aligns the laser beam. There is also an interface for an image intensifier or thermal imaging sight, allowing the unit to be used in virtually any conditions, day or night.

The Laser Target Designators are regular equipment of the ground special forces for the country’s with high sophisticated Air Forces. Most of the airstrikes in Iraq and Syria these days are carried out with the help of LTD’s.

Night Vision Equipment

Night Vision Equipment

There’s a whole range of sophisticated night vision equipment available to police, paramilitary and security organisations. But one reliable passive light system has existed for thousands of years – the good old Mk I eyeball.

Combined with good hearing and a sense of smell, human eyesight can be used to penetrate darkness. With the assistance of simple equipment like binoculars, it can gather enough light to see objects that would otherwise be ill-defined in the dark. For many years, these senses, along with active light sources like flares and electric light, were all that were available for night operations.

At the close of World War II, active infra-red (IR) had entered service. With it, a driver could illuminate the road with lights fitted with an IR filter, and see it through special binoculars. Fitted to a rifle, the system could also be used for medium range sniping.

Unfortunately it could also be seen by anyone wearing similar binoculars, and even by men wearing the next generation of night viewing equipment – Image Intensification or II. It was easy to trace the source of the IR beam – it looks like a powerful torch beam.

Image Intensification

Image Intensification is a passive system that amplifies the ambient light from man made and natural sources including the moon and stars – which gave it the nickname the Starlight Scope in US military service during the 1962-75 Vietnam War. One of the attractions of II is that it can be upgraded simply by adding extra lenses at the front – rather like adding a telephoto lens to a camera.
The Pilkington Kite Observation Sight, or KOS, is in British Army service as the Common Weapons Sight or CWS (pictured at top of page). It can be upgraded from 4x to 6x magnification by adding an extra lens at the front. This allows a soldier to recognise a standing man at a range of 450 metres in starlight conditions. Other modifications to Kite include Binokite (pictured alongside), which has a 4.5x magnification and, with its two eyepieces, is easier to use. Significantly, these Pilkington systems use commercially available 1.5V AA batteries.

II equipment has improved enormously since the 1960s, and its weight has been reduced. The EEV Nite Watch Plus II viewer, for instance, is only 46mm in diameter, 120mm long, and weighs just 330g with lens and batteries. It can be used in a simple hand-held mode, or fitted to an SLR camera, CCTV or video.

Reliability has been enhanced through three generations of II equipment. ‘Second Gen’ II equipment has improved light intensification up to 20,000 times, compared to 1,000 times in ‘First Gen’ equipment. Filtration is incorporated so that Second Gen kit does not ‘bloom out’ if the user points it at a light source such as car headlights. Blooming out fogs the screen by producing a temporary after-image.

‘Third Gen’ is an improvement on second, with better filters, but the enhancement is relatively small for the increase in cost, making it unattractive to all but government agencies.

Litton Elecronic Devices of Tempe, Arizona, have a wide range of Second and Third Gen equipment, including goggles and monoculars for aircrew, AFV drivers and, interestingly, scuba divers.

Passive Night Goggles (PNGs) were first used operationally by British helicopter crews in the Falklands War of 1982, to insert special forces by night onto the island.

The end of the Cold War released a huge range of low cost Russian made II equipment onto the market, including binoculars and hand-held systems with IR illumination. First Gen systems such as the T3C2 can now be bought for as little as £100, and this has led to the use of II equipment by criminals and terrorists. II can be extremely useful in planning and carrying out a criminal or terrorist attack. One way to combat this new threat is to ensure that vulnerable buildings and installations are screened from view by fences, walls or vegetation.

Thermal Imaging

Though criminals and terrorists may have access to II, unless they are sponsored by state oranisations they are unlikely to have Thermal Imaging (TI) equipment. TI presents a picture showing the different heat patterns produced by men, machines and other objects, whether natural or man-made.
TI allows operators to see through visual camouflage and smoke, so a vehicle screened by a net or vegetation would show up warm through the cover. TI is extremely useful in search and rescue operations, since operators can find survivors in dense cover or smoky rooms. They can also locate small heat sources, such as a liferaft in the open sea, or a live body in an expanse of snowy hillside.

TI was first used by the British Army operationally in the Falklands in 1982, where the heat ‘signature’ of sheep roaming across the moorland cause some confusion for operators! TI can be used by day as well as by night, without special filters.

As with II, TI equipment has been made much smaller than the early bulky systems. Modern TI equipment is no more bulky than a video camcorder. A good example is the GEC Marconi Pyro 2000. This battery powered unit weighs 1.5kg excluding the lens and battery pack. It is 200mm long, 75mm high, and 140mm wide.

The Thorn EMI Electronics Lite can be fitted with a variety of lenses and is cooled by a microcooler or air bottle, which means that weights range from 3.4kg to 5.6kg. Lite can be used as a hand-held system, fitted to weapons such as machine guns, or used as a tracker for anti-aircraft or anti-tank missile firing posts.

TI is enormously useful, but it does have its limitations. It doesn’t perform well in rain or sand storms for instance. The picture it produces at medium and short ranges is clear, but at longer ranges the operator sees just a warm ‘blob’. In the Gulf War of 1991, this led to some of the ‘blue on blue’ or friendly fire casualties.

TI was literally a life-saver during the Gulf War, however. With no ambient light on a cloudy night in the desert, II equipment is useless. Only HHTI (hand-held thermal imaging) equipment allowed soldiers to locate Iraqi positions.


The cost of night vision equipment has fallen since the 1960s, along with its weight and bulk, while the quality and versatility have improved considerably. The various night vision devices open up new possibilities for fighting at night, but it can only be used effectively if the soliders using it also make good use of the night vision equipment they were born with – eyes, ears, nose, and a suspicious mind!

Combat Survival Essentials

MEDEVAC Special Operations Combat Medic in UH-60 Blackhawk

Survival is all about staying alive. Depending on the circumstances, that might mean finding water in the desert, being able to swim, or simply knowing when to hand over the car keys.

In a military situation, though, we’re talking about combat survival. The kind of scenario we have to prepare for is, for example, being cut off miles behind enemy lines in a hostile environment, where lack of food, water or both is as big a threat to your survival as the enemy.

Mental attitude

The single biggest factor is your mental condition. The ‘will to survive’ can see you through when by rights you should be dead.

If you study the many examples of people surviving in extreme situations, one thing shines through – they all were determined to make it. For an example, read Chris Ryan’s book on the ill-fated SAS Bravo Two-Zero patrol in the Gulf War, ‘The One That Got Away’.

Some people visualise their wife, family, girlfriend or whoever to help keep them going. Others are just downright pig-headed and won’t give up on principle. Whatever works for you, use it – because once your will to survive is broken, all the equipment and kit in the world won’t save your skin.


Second only to the will to survive is Knowledge. Do you know how to find water, what plants you can eat, how to signal for help or navigate your way back to friendly forces? If not, take heart: unlike the will to survive, this bit you can get from books, or by paying attention in survival lectures. But remember that when it really counts, you won’t have that book in your pocket, or an instructor to tell you the answers – all you have is what you’ve drummed into your own head.

There are plenty of good survival books around, some written specifically for the military, others for a civilian camping/hiking audience. Personally, I prefer the various books by former SAS survival instructor John (‘Lofty’) Wiseman. The Collins Gem ‘SAS Survival Guide’ in particular is truly pocket sized, and at just £3.99 packs an astonishing amount of information in a tiny space.


Knowing something is one thing. Being able to do it is quite another. Take a simple example: If you ask a dozen civilians how you can start a fire in the wilderness, most of them will say “Rub two sticks together”. Well, they’re not wrong – but drop them in the middle of nowhere and tell them to light a fire!

Skills come with training and practice. You build on your knowledge by actually doing the thing for real. Which is why you go on a combat survival course rather than just spend a couple of days reading about it!


The Walter Mittys always place too much emphasis on kit. People who do the job for real know that good kit helps make life easier, but it’s not essential. A true survivor will use his knowledge and skills to improvise, using whatever he can lay his hands on to replace the kit he wishes he had. An example: It’s nice to have a few yards of paracord in your pocket, but all kinds of vegetation can be pressed into service to make ropes and cordage.

Of course the only kit that’s any good is the stuff you’ve got with you when it’s needed. Put together a basic survival kit and keep it in your belt kit. It’s no good left behind in your bergen or back in your locker!

And since you must carry it with you at all times, make sure it’s light and compact. Every item should be as light and small as possible and still capable of doing the job – or better still two or three jobs, as every item in a survival kit should be as versatile as possible.

Most of the time you will have a pretty good idea of what might happen if things go tits-up. If you’re operating in desert terrain, for instance, it’s a pretty fair bet that water will be your biggest survival problem, while there wouldn’t be much point packing a wood-saw! So plan, prepare, and triple-check everything.

Here’s a list of items for a basic survival kit which will fit in a tobacco tin (lid doubles as heliograph, tin doubles as cooking pot/mug) sealed with sticky tape (re-usable, naturally). With the necessary knowledge and skills, it covers the basic requirements of survival: Water, Food, Shelter, Navigation, Medical Care and Signalling.

Non-safety matches, waterproofed with candle wax
Flint and striker
Cotton wool (a tampon is ideal as it’s highly compressed)
Fish hooks and line
Button compass
Needles and thread
Magnifying glass
Rabbit snare
Wire saw
Scalpel blades
Water purifying tablets
Condom (for carrying water)
Potassium permanganate
Sticking plasters
Lip salve
Rehydration salts
Malaria tablets (where needed)

In addition to your survival tin, carry with you at all times: A good knife, adequate clothing for the climate, as much water as practicable, and your personal weapon and ammunition
If possible, also carry: Stove and fuel, signal flares, metal mug or mess tin, torch and batteries, spare matches, survival bag, brew kit, spare food, more ammunition, and extra matches