Page last updated at 22:02 GMT, Monday, 21 July 2008 23:02 UK

Parachutes for the 'dogs of war'

A German Shepherd
The German Shepherds will be sent to countries like Afghanistan

The British Army is preparing to parachute dogs into some of the most dangerous war zones in the world.

An undisclosed number of German Shepherds are being trained to jump out of airplanes at 25,000 feet.

They will be strapped to members of the SAS, fitted with oxygen masks and will be sent to countries like Afghanistan.

The Ministry of Defence has not revealed what tasks they will perform but it is thought they may be used to sniff out explosives.

They may also prove useful for searching confined spaces.

BBC defence correspondent Paul Adams said dogs were first parachuted into combat zones as early as World War II, but that these dogs will be a breed apart.

New memorials to army dog mascots
11 Oct 06 |  Staffordshire
Army dog bounces back from abuse
12 May 06 |  Tayside and Central
War medal given to hero dog
20 Dec 02 |  England

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific