The Indian army is set to launch an ambitious program to profile the DNA of all its soldiers.

Army sources confirm to Aviation Week that all soldiers, cutting across various ranks and files, will be included in brought under the purview of the massive undertaking. “The idea behind this move is to quickly identify the bodies of our men, if they are [mutilated] beyond recognition while engaged in an operation or during a mine blast,” a source says.

The profiling is expected to begin this year with various centers and banks already identified across India to perform the work. On a pilot basis, the center at the Department of Forensic Medicine at the Armed Forces Medical College in Pune will collect blood samples from Indian army troops who are posted at forward areas and fighting militants. “These samples would be stored in a data bank for future use,” the military source says.

When asked about the mammoth challenge the program will pose to Indian army medical teams, a senior official with Madras Engineering & Centre in Bengaluru says: “We have military hospitals all over India and we will see how the pilot project would go. Eventually we are sure of profiling all our men in phases.”

The army plans to profile the DNA of all new young recruits so a systematic record can be stored right from the startbeginning. The project will also help identify the mutilated bodies of soldiers injured in our men during natural calamities.