presented at DSEi included a wide range of weapons, accessories
and gadgets designed to fit current warrior's needs and future
infantry suits such as the British FIST.
British Army’s Future Integrated Soldier Technology (FIST) program
is progressing well. At a briefing at DSEi, Thales indicated the
program is on time and budget to proceed to the next phase of
validation testing in October 2005. In the development and
evaluation process Thales and the Defense Procurement Agency
conducted some 50 equipment mini-trials as part of the
system functionality testing and risk reduction process.
FIST improves the full capability of the infantry warrior, the
greatest enhancement of this capability will come from the introduction
of command, control, communications, computers and intelligence
(C4I) tools to the section level. Systems such as situational
awareness applications are not expected to be available to all
section members, but mainly to the junior combat leaders. At
present, the section's elements will include commander, grenadier,
gunner and marksman - each role will be provided for by a specific
variation of the FIST design. FIST suits will retain the current
SA-80 A2 assault rifle. This weapon is already equipped with an
optical sight' a 40mm grenade launcher will be fitted to the
was given to
optical rifle sights, widely used in low-intensity
conflict operations, where precision and minimizing collateral
damage becomes imperative. Among the sights on display were new
systems from Trijicon, Aimpoint, Elcan, a thermal sight from
Raytheon, and first release of the
Viper advanced weapon sight,
integrated with fire control unit, developed by ITL. Other warrior
oriented systems on display included wearable PCs, eyepieces,
earphones supporting directional audio reproduction, using 3D
audio, power management systems and batteries etc.
Raytheon displayed an
early model of its Close Combat Thermal Targeting Sight (CCTTS)
using an uncooled thermal detector based on vanadium oxide (VOx) 8-12
micron focal plane array, offering 320 x 240 pixel resolutions.
With a weight of 1.7 kg it is designed to fit standard MIL-1913 or
PCAPS interface on 5.56mm rifle systems, providing 18°
field-of-view with x3 zoom capability. The system is equipped with
built-in infrared (IR) laser pointer and IR illuminator operating
in the 850 nanometre range, making it compatible with current
night-vision goggle systems.
now in full production, was displayed at DSEi for the first time.
THERMITE is a man wearable, high performance, real-time tactical
visual computing device. As a man-portable computer, the new
computer supports real-time 2D/3D tactical visual processing
utilized for embedded training, mission rehearsals and deployed
C4ISR applications. The small size THERMITE weighs one kilogram
without batteries. 3D images and "virtual environments" processed
by wearable computers such as THERMITE can be displayed by
lightweight visors, such as the
Z800 3D visor, developed and
produced by eMagine.
immersion-capable 3D computing experience, enabling the soldier or
combat analyst to be surrounded with visual data they need to conduct
realistic training. Apart from training, such immersive viewers
can be used for remote control of systems, command and control.
The viewer comprises two Organic LED (OLED) microdisplays
providing full-motion stereo video in 16.7 million colors. The
visor weighs less than 8 oz and provides an image resolution and
size comparable to 105 inch projection screen viewed from four
meters. To support the virtual reality scene, 3D audio
communication can be used. 3D audio applications are already
considered for Soldier modernization systems. One such program is
under development by a team led by Sennheiser Canada under the
Canadian Soldier Integrated Headgear System (SIHS) program.