Germanys Future Soldier System

From Jane's International Defence Review:

Germany advances future soldier system
Under the Infantry 2010 plan, the German Army's entire infantry branch is due to have been equipped by the end of the decade with Infanterist der Zukunft (IdZ) future soldier system ensembles, together with new light, medium or heavy armoured mobility platforms (Mungo, Bv206, Boxer, and Puma).

Deliveries of the first full-production V1 version of IdZ are to begin in 2006. Following platoon-level operational trials in Kosovo in 2002 and later in Afghanistan with three complete IdZ (Einsatzbedingter Sofort Bedarf - ESB) demonstrator systems (each comprising 10 ensembles, sufficient for a squad), a further 15 (ESB Lot 3) systems were delivered to the German infantry school at Hammelburg in 2004 by the Projekthaus System Soldat (PSS) consortium, headed by EADS Friedrichshafen.

In 2005, 10 of these IdZ ESB systems were deployed with German troops serving in Afghanistan as part of the Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Feyzabad and Kunduz, and in the same year the consortium received a contract to produce 196 IdZ V1 production systems (viz 1,960 ensembles). These are to be delivered in 2006-07 for wider use by selected German infantry units (principally those attached to the NATO Response Force or the EU Battle Group), and certain air force units.

As initially developed by EADS in conjunction with the German defence procurement agency (Bundesamt für Wehrtechnik und Beschaffung [BWB]) using available technology, the command-and-control aspects of IdZ were not overly stressed, vertical interoperability in particular not being catered for.

According to Colonel Manfred Graumann, from the Force Development office at Hammelburg, who spoke at the IQPC Future Soldier conference in London in February, approval for research on the second-generation V2 or Erweitetes (Extended) production version of IdZ was first given in 2004, and the associated EUR19.5 million (USD23.2 million) contract to develop and deliver V2-related enhancements is due to be awarded shortly. If categorised as an evolution of the current ensemble, it is possible the V2 development study contract could be signed before the end of April. However, if deemed to be a new start, the resultant contract scrutiny process is likely to delay its signature until July.

Bids for development of the IdZ Extended ensemble were received from Rheinmetall Defence Electronics (RDE) and Sagem, as well as from EADS. The upshot of the bid evaluation is that for the next round the leadership of the PSS consortium is to be switched from EADS to RDE. It is expected that while exploiting some V1 parts, the V2 will provide additional functionality, in particular focusing on improvements to system command and control with a view to providing IdZ platoons and companies with a network-enabled capability.

Among its other aspects, this is expected to lead to the replacement of the squad and platoon commanders' current EADS NaviPad (Compaq IPAQ) personal digital assistants (PDAs) with high-performance tablet computers (incorporating 1,024 MB ROMs and multiple-gigabit hard disks), integration of the associated power, power management and databus subsystems into the IdZ carrying system, new clothing, and a new helmet capable of supporting a helmet-mounted display, thermal camera, and night-vision goggles. The RDE-led study will culminate in delivery of two system demonstrators (2 x 10 ensembles) for the series-production version, responsibility for which could in principle still be vested in a prime contractor other than RDE.

Another of the goals for IdZ is that it should be able to exchange blue-force situation awareness data with allied command-and-control or soldier system ensembles. RDE's proprietary Army Command and Control Equipment (ACE) battle management system (BMS) family, which includes a dismounted soldier system capability, is designed to be compliant with the NATO C2IEDM (Command and Control Information Exchange Data Model) interoperability standard. The RDE system was successfully used to exchange data with allied networks during the 2005 Coalition Warrior Interoperability Demonstration (CWID), and is expected to fulfil a similar function within the IdZ V2 demonstrator, one soldier per system being given the required communications interfaces.
Can just imagine the Platoon Commander using his iPaq PDA to do his emails in the war zone :)
At least they get new stuff but - Many Germans working in their MOD were issued (last year) with an all singing all dancing PDA/Handy/Video/Camera thingy...

Shame that under their Securityorders they cannot have a camera in the MOD main building.

Poor HWF Gunther had to spend 2 weeks scratching the lenses and covering them with super glue.


aha!---but we have the "New" AFV 432

Anyone encountering one on the Battlefield will believe that he has been Catapulted 30 Years back through time and will be totally disoriented. During this period of disorientation we will be able to administer a severe helping of Track Rash and add a few pounds of lead to his Body Mass Index!

Plus - we have 5 metres of String in our top left hand Pocket! who needs PDA`s

Its all part of the Cunning (Cnunting?) plan!!

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