SAS dogs will get special vests to protect them from bullets and bombs.
The body armour, costing up to £5,000 a time, is also fitted with audio and video sensors. They will enable handlers to see and hear inside buildings held by enemy forces.
One serving special forces soldier told us: “Dogs are a central part of every SAS operation.
“Until now, we’ve not found any harness which offers them combat protection.
“But these new vests are fantastic and will help reduce the injuries the dogs receive on operations.”
Special forces ordered the equipment after several dogs – nicknamed land sharks by troops – were killed or hurt during operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria.
Previously, they only had harnesses so they could be carried while their handlers climbed rock faces, made parachute drops or abseiled into buildings.
The new vests are designed and fitted for individual animals. They are made from a ballistic material to stop them being shot or injured in bomb blasts.
Dogs will also be fitted with boots to stop their paws being damaged by broken glass.
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The cameras on the harnesses work in all weathers and at night, allowing the SAS to use dogs as spying devices.
Special forces dogs are now taken on virtually every operation by the SAS and SBS.
They mainly come from the Malinois breed which is famous for its bravery.
In August 2020, defence chiefs revealed a Mali called Kuno won the Dicken Medal, the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross after being shot several times while disabling an al-Qaida gunman.
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