London, July 21 : British Army Special Air Service (SAS) team has revealed plans to cut down casualty rates in Iraq and Afghanistan by parachuting in German shepherds to spy on rebels.
The Sun reported that the dogs are being trained to leap from planes at 25,000ft wearing their own oxygen masks and strapped to Special Forces teams.
Once down in hostile terrain in Iraq or Afghanistan, the dogs will be sent in first to seek out insurgents' hideouts with tiny cameras fixed to their heads.
The cameras will beam live TV pictures back to the troops, warning of ambushes or showing enemy leaders' locations.
The amazing tactic - on which The Sun has been fully briefed - has been devised to cut down the Who Dares Wins regiment's soaring casualty rates.
The bold plan comes after three SAS troopers were shot dead on raids in Iraq over two years, with eight seriously wounded.
An SAS source told The Sun: "The dogs will be exposed to very high levels of danger on these operations and you never know what's going to be behind a door. Nobody wants to see the dogs get killed but if it's their life or a man's it is obvious which the commanding officer would prefer."
The dogs will be used in a precise manoeuvre technique called High Altitude High Opening, jumping as much as 35km from their targets and gliding towards them for up to 30 minutes.
America's most elite unit the 1st Special Forces Operational Detachment-Delta, commonly known as Delta Force, has pioneered the skills for jumping with dogs from heights over 20,000ft and its instructors have been sent over to 22 SAS headquarters in Hereford.
Dogs were first trained to parachute in the Second World War by the British on rescue missions.