Military Review

Soldiers of the future


Overview of promising equipment kits for military personnel

One of the most ambitious military projects of recent times is the American program Future Combat System, within which a line of promising models of military equipment and weapons for the US Army is being created. Some cuts to the development of this program, however, did not affect projects related to the development of new equipment for the soldiers - the Land Warrior program. Such a decision is understandable - the possibility of a new "big war" is widely questioned by many, and local conflicts, where the soldier with an automatic rifle and grenade launcher plays the main role, are happening now and obviously will not stop in the future. In addition to the United States, many countries are developing their own new equipment projects.

The main "highlight" of such kits is the introduction of modern information technologies into the equipment of soldiers, dramatically increasing information connectivity within the unit and facilitating the coordination of actions of servicemen. Perspective equipment includes communications equipment, navigation systems, night vision devices, laser range finders, electronic maps, as well as personal protective equipment (body armor, helmets, etc.), advanced shooting weapon and uniforms made using thermostatic fabrics that protect against overheating or undercooling.

Land Warrior

The American program, which began earlier than others, has now achieved the greatest results. By the 2003, in the United States, two sets of Land Warrior Block 1 and Land Warrior Block 2 were created, the last one designed for soldiers of the Stryker brigade (a new type of formations equipped with Stryker combat vehicles). In 2003, the Land Warrior Block 2 kit was decided to be the main one. Currently, the development of a promising set of equipment, which received a new name - Mounted Warrior, is being carried out by General Dynamics C4 Systems.

Mounted Warrior Kit includes: computer, helmet display (HMD), GPS-navigator, radio station, power supply and weapon control system. The soldier can monitor the battlefield through video and infrared cameras mounted on an automatic rifle, the image of which is displayed on the display. At the same time the soldier himself can remain in the shelter. In addition to the HMD, the helmet is equipped with a monocular optical system, headphones and a microphone. The entire unit, together with the Stryker armored vehicles, is integrated into a single information system. Combat vehicles serve not only for the transportation of soldiers and fire support, but also as a kind of "information nodes" of the "battle space" (battlespace), ensuring the exchange of information between different units.

From May to September, 2006, based on the 4 Brigade of the 23 Infantry Division (Fort Lewis, W.), conducted the first field tests of the 440 kits of Mounted Warrior and XountedUMNs. According to the results of tests in February 147, the Pentagon announced the possible closure of the program due to its low efficiency due to the lack of necessary technologies.

However, in June 2007, the 4 Brigade was sent to Iraq, along with the 200 combat kits of Land Warrior and Mounted Warrior. Kits were tested during patrols in urban environments and in the desert.

In August, a new upgraded version of the combat kit was introduced. It has become much lighter than its predecessor and has a number of technical innovations. In particular, now the weight of electronic equipment is 3,2 kilograms, not 4,5 as before. In addition to GPS-navigator and helmet-mounted display, the new set is equipped with a Boomerang sniper location system, as well as a more compact keyboard on the control unit.

Possible view of the Future Force Warrior. Photo of US Armed Forces

The new kits can exchange information with the Stryker AFV, they can also be used to control robots- sappers.

In July, 2007, the Armed Forces Congressional Committee, released a report identifying the need to continue the implementation of the Land Warrior project. In the defense budget 2008 fiscal year. An amount of 18,7 million dollars was allocated to continue the field test and upgrade the kit.

An interesting fact is that in February 2005, the Land Warrior program was merged with the Future Force Warrior project, which was aimed at creating a Land Warrior II kit with completely new, "futuristic" technologies. Despite their combination, the Future Force Warrior program is viewed as promising and will be funded even if the Land Warrior project is closed. One of the key elements of the FFW kit will be an exoskeleton suit that provides protection for the soldier and increase his physical abilities at the expense of electromechanical “muscles”.

According to the military command, the Land Warrior and Mounted Warrior kits during their use in combat conditions in Iraq have significantly increased the awareness of soldiers in urban environments, as well as improved coordination in the performance of combat missions.

At the same time, the soldiers themselves say that the kit is inconvenient, unreliable, and often turns off due to weak batteries. In addition, there are difficulties with the transfer of commands using new electronic equipment. The kit also makes it difficult to make decisions in extreme conditions.

Despite the negative attitude of the soldiers to the new systems, the project is planned to continue, but to increase the number of field trials in real combat operations to identify all the flaws in the new equipment. In general, about 500 million dollars was spent on the project. The estimated cost of one set of Land Warrior is about 70 thousand dollars.

What others have

Ambitious US programs in the field of individual combat kits initiated the development of similar projects in Germany (IdZ), France (FELIN), Great Britain (FIST), Spain (COMFUT), Sweden (IMESS), Australia (Land 125).

In fact, they all followed the line of American concepts and were focused on the integration of soldiers into the digital battle management system.

Further in this question France and Germany have advanced. They began to implement their projects almost immediately after the United States - in 1996. The first prototypes of combat kits Germans and French tried to use during the fighting in Yugoslavia. However, they showed their low efficiency - and their funding was reduced.

The development was resumed when the units of the Armed Forces of France and Germany were sent to Afghanistan, as a large proving ground, which made it possible to determine the main directions for improving the available developments.

Already in 2003, the French Armed Forces chose Sagem during the tender to finalize the first-generation FELIN-I kit. According to the contract concluded in 2004, the company must supply 2010 thousands of sets in 22,5 infantry regiments and in addition 20 thousands of sets to armored, engineering and artillery forces before 9.


50 first prototypes in September 2007 were delivered to the French peacekeeping force stationed in Afghanistan. Delivery of the next batch of 358 test images is scheduled for February 2008. By the end of this year, it is planned to conduct field trials on the basis of three battalions involved in Afghanistan. Deliveries of the first 1000 kits, created as part of full-scale production, are scheduled for the end of 2008. It is expected that by the middle of 2009, two-thirds of the infantry regiments will be equipped with new complexes, and by the 2010 year they will be fully equipped. With 2015, it is planned to begin development of the FELIN-II kit.

The weight of equipment, including electronic equipment (radio, navigation equipment, video and infrared cameras, control unit), weapons, ammunition, helmet, uniforms with body armor and batteries, is about 25 kilograms. The kit will come in five configurations. Each infantry regiment will be equipped with 1000 kits.

The kit included an assault rifle Giat FAMAS F1 caliber 5,56-mm, a Giat FR-F2 sniper rifle caliber 7,62-mm, a light machine gun FN Herstal Minimi caliber 5,56-mm. The digital rifle scope is connected to a mini-monitor on a soldier’s helmet. As for Germany, at the end of 2006, the Bundeswehr signed a contract worth $ 34,4 million with Rhinemetal Defense Electronics to develop a second generation IdZ-ES prototype kit with delivery of the first 20 units by May 2007. These kits are already being tested in Afghanistan.

Soldiers of the future
IdZ-ES Kit

Each IdZ-ES kit provides equipment for an infantry squad of 10 military personnel. The basic version of the IdZ-ES kit weighs only 6,5 kilograms, not counting the ceramic armor, additional equipment and equipment for individual tasks.

The kit is a modular design, so the soldier can take only the equipment he needs to perform a specific task. Completion of the development of the new IdZ-ES kit is scheduled for the end of 2008-the beginning of 2009 of the year.

The basic weapons of the kit are the automatic rifle G-36, the submachine gun MP7А1, the 40-mm sub-barrel AG36 grenade launcher, the MG4 machine gun, the G82 large-bore sniper rifle.

MG4 machine gun

Combat kits from other countries, in particular the UK, Spain, Sweden, and Australia are only at the development stage. This is due to the late start of projects in this area. Thus, the UK signed a contract with Thales only in March 2003 of the year, Spain - with the EADS concern in October 2006 of the year, Sweden - at the beginning of 2006 of the year Australia - in 2004 of the year.

Despite their temporary backlog, field trials of kits are planned for 2008 already. This is due, first of all, to the reduction of the time it takes to search for conceptual solutions and to develop the necessary technologies. Major developments borrowed from the United States. At the same time, the military are in a hurry to test new kits in real combat conditions against the background of a possible withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Other projects

There are also other programs such as African Warrior (South Africa), Soldato Futuro (Italy), Soldier Modernization Program (Netherlands), NORMANS (Norway), Soldado do Futuro (Portugal), Advanced Combat Man System (Singapore), IMESS (Switzerland ), ANOG (Israel), BEST (Belgium) and 21st Century soldier (Czech Republic).

Future Soldier

21st Century soldier (Czech Republic)

All of them are aimed at increasing the situational awareness of soldiers through the use of navigation devices, digital binoculars, maps, various optical and infrared devices, and the improvement of their level of interaction with the help of modern means of communication.

And what about us?

The development of promising equipment for Russian soldiers is carried out within the framework of the relevant federal target program.

Requirements for the prospective equipment were developed by the main missile and artillery department of the Ministry of Defense (GRAU), with the participation of the relevant structures of other security agencies, as well as specialized research organizations (Central Research Institute "Tochmash", NPO "Spetstekhnika and svyaz", NPO Spetsmaterialov and others) . The purpose of the program is to create a basic set of individual equipment (BKIE) with the possibility of refinement for various types of tasks.

The first model of the BKIE was the Barmitsa kit, which was successfully tested and delivered to the troops. The kit includes an advanced 6B7-1М helmet, 6B23-1 bullet-proof vest, advanced communication equipment and armament - modernized Kalashnikov assault rifles, Pecheneg single machine guns, RPG-29 "Vampire" granamotets. Initially it was supposed to introduce an AN-94 "Abakan" machine into a set of advanced equipment, however, the Armed Forces abandoned this weapon because of its insufficient reliability and complex design.

The uniform machine gun PKP "Pecheneg"

Hand-held anti-tank grenade launcher RPG-29 "Vampire"

On the basis of the Barmitsa kit, the Warrior kit is being developed, which, first of all, will be distinguished by improved communications and navigation equipment. The kit will include the GLONASS system navigator, as well as advanced electronic equipment, providing information exchange and return of orders in accordance with the concept of the battle space. The development of the corresponding equipment is carried out by the concern "Constellation", which has already presented the first samples of automatic control systems for the connection. Portable GLONASS navigators for the Russian Armed Forces are being developed by Compass.

Just as in the West, the basis of the ACS of the formation is software and hardware complexes for all levels of the hierarchy - from soldier to division commander. The soldier complex is a communicator that provides the transmission of information both by voice and in digital format and displays the tactical situation on the arcuate display. Their complexes are available at all intermediate levels - from the commanders of detachments, platoons, companies, battalions and regiments.

Watch movie: Impact force New weapons of the Russian army

The XXI century is the century of hypersonic speeds, global information, computer technologies and innovations. One of the most closed topics in any country is the field of weapons production. Russia is no exception. Because it is here that the most advanced technologies are born. Possessing the best weapons and military equipment in the world, we know practically nothing about their creators - scientists and designers. The veil of secrecy over these legendary people and the mysteries of the birth of modern weapons opens this documentary.

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  1. dred
    dred 30 November 2011 13: 28
    Ours, as always, are wretched in comparison with others
    1. almost demobil
      almost demobil 11 May 2017 14: 43
      Again there was a silly-dred. For a long time there was no fool.
  2. Joker
    Joker 30 November 2011 13: 36
    What I like about the USA is that they primarily have the armament and equipment of soldiers, not tanks and helicopters. And rightly so, a shot from Javelin costs 80 000 $ and the tank will be more expensive. The same helicopter can be shot down to an ordinary soldier if he has weapons for this, equipping the soldiers is a very profitable solution and the right one. And we remember them last.
  3. Gimaev Bulat
    Gimaev Bulat April 14 2012 21: 55
    Now, if all the technologies were introduced within 1 year, our world would be completely different
  4. Favorite
    Favorite 19 March 2015 23: 56
    And we have a warrior
  5. kush62
    kush62 8 October 2017 17: 08
    Deliveries of the first 1000 sets created as part of full-scale production are scheduled for late 2008. It is expected that by mid-2009, two-thirds of the infantry regiments will be equipped with new complexes, and by 2010 they will be fully equipped. In 2015, it is planned to begin the development of the FELIN-II kit.
    what year is the article? Exhibited in 2010. written similarly in 2007, and in the yard 2017. wassat