4 – 5 years, LW
will be enhanced by the Ground Soldier Systems (GSS) to become
part of the Future Combat Systems (FCS). GSS will utilize many
technologies developed and demonstrated during the Future
Force Warrior advanced (FFW) technology demonstration program.
GSS represents the future evolution of Land Warrior, introducing
the future programmable
radio (JTRS manpack), load carriage integrated with body
armor and electronics and the ability to employ "netted
lethality" by enabling individual warfighters to remotely
direct weapons launched by other small unit members, or by network
accessible joint platforms, beyond line of sight. Part of the
program will be the integration of XM-104 weapon's fire control
systems and sights, with the commander's and grenadier's weapons.
Within 10 years, one of the GSS objectives is to reduce the
soldier's fighting load by 50% and integrate it with all combat
platforms. Currently in early evaluation phase, the program
is scheduled to transition into system development and demonstration
The new wearable radio introduced
by ITT is optimized for the dismounted soldier. Weighing only
1.2 lbs, the UHF radio transmits an average 5 watt power; the
radio provides a range of 2 km in open area and 1 km in urban
environment. It supports communications of voice, data and video,
transferring up to 2.6 Mbps over a 1.2 MHz channel. The radio
is simple to operate and supports dismounted soldiers with voice
connectivity to Combat Net Radios (CNR) and FBCB2
as it automatically generating position report, without the
need for an attached PDA.
Fuel cell technology is one of the promising directions for
portable power sources. At AUSA 2006, the Army Research, Development
and Engineering Command (REDCOM) demonstrated the Ultracell
methanol-fueled soldier fuel cell, one of the systems pioneering
this field. The system provides up to 20 watts of continuous
power for 9 hours. The system feeds on lightweight fuel cartridges.
Such fuel cells can power a dismounted command post or be used
to recharge exhausted batteries for Land Warrior units. Unlike
generators it has a low acoustic signature, but current systems
still produce a significant heat.