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7 Jul, 2021 12:06

Prepare for a ruff landing! Russia tests dog parachutes as country develops technology to transport canines to rescue missions

A Russian state-owned company has released footage of dogs testing newly developed parachutes, designed for easily dropping a person, together with a service canine, in places where it’s impossible to land a plane or a helicopter.

Technodinamika, part of the Rostec State Corporation, created the device on the orders of Russia’s Ministry of Defense. Now it’s possible to land a dog from a height of up to 4,000 meters (13,000ft). If tests are completed this year, the parachutes will be supplied to the ministry to be used in the field in 2022.

According to Alexey Kozin, chief designer of parachute systems at Technodinamika, the device can be controlled by an experienced parachutist or a search-and-rescue specialist who has no particular skill in this area. Kozin also noted that the dogs reacted well to the jump, and remained calm both throughout and afterwards.

“After the jump, the dog behaves normally … it’s ready to perform its tasks,” he added.

As things stand, the current 4km (2.5 mile) height restriction is due to a lack of oxygen, and Technodinamika is currently working on oxygen equipment designed especially for dogs. Once developed, canines may be able to jump from up to 8000 meters (26,250 feet).

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The parachute was tested by specialist Yury Mironov, who practiced with a German shepherd dog. According to Mironov, the dog was trained for some time before the testing and had not been given food or drink.

“The dog is strapped down securely and has almost no room for extra movement,” Mironov explained, noting that it resisted at the start before being calmed by its owner.

“The jump was performed without complications,” he concluded.

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