Supriya Ghosh (Editor)

Kerala Thunderbolts

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Active  2012 – present
Branch  Kerala Police
Size  200 commandos
Country  India
Type  SWAT
Role  Primary tasks: Counter-terrorism Jungle warfare Personnel recovery hostage rescue

Kerala Thunderbolts is an elite command force of the Kerala Police under the India Reserve Battalion set up in accordance with the Indian central government's directions post the 2008 Mumbai attacks. The commando force has been created to counter possible terror strikes and carry out counterinsurgency operations in Kerala. The force modeled on the Special Protection Group and National Security Guard are trained to engage in air, water and land attacks.


Known operations

A Thunderbolt team carried out a combing operation in the Malapuram district following reports of sighting of Maoist insurgents in February, 2013. In March 2013, a 30 member Thunderbolt team was involved in a counterinsurgency combing operation in search of suspected Maoist insurgents in Kannur district in Kerala. On December 6, 2014, A gunfight broke out in a forest in Kerala’s hilly Wayanad district between the Thunderbolt unit and the left-wing rebels (Maoist).It was the first direct encounter between police and Maoists in the history of Kerala and no causality reported.

Selection & Training

The commando force consists of 2 companies of 160 personnel, who have been recruited after undergoing 2 years of rigorous and specialized training at various institutions around the country including Army’s Counter Insurgency and Jungle Warfare School, Mizoram. Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, announced the approval of the Central Government for raising a second battalion of 40 more personnel, in the wake of increased terrorist activity across India.

The recruits, in the 18-21 age group, were selected after going through the Three Star physical Efficiency Test and Endurance test, as specified by the Kerala Public Service Commission. The second stage training was completed at Commando School, Chennai, National Disaster Management School, Coimbatore, Counter insurgency and Anti Terrorism School, Silchar, National Adventure School, Munnar, Underwater Operation and Diving school, Kochi and Airborne Operation Air force School, New Delhi.


The following equipment is used by the Thunderbolts


  • M4 carbine
  • Heckler & Koch MP5
  • Glock 19
  • Steyr AUG
  • X95
  • Taser
  • AK-47
  • Communications

  • Dicom Tactical Radio Sat phone
  • Uniform

  • Green Camouflage for Jungle warfare
  • Blue shade on Black for Operations
  • Black for night operations
  • Navy Blue Safari Suit for VVIP Security
  • Other equipment

  • Thermal heat detectors
  • Reflex sights
  • References

    Kerala Thunderbolts Wikipedia