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The US Army
Land Warrior Program

(updated: 2007)

During the recent Soldier Technology 2007 conference and exhibition, held in une 2008 in London, Col. Richard Hanson, EO Soldier Land Warrior Program Manager briefed on the status of the US Army's Land Warrior program. Hansen's briefing covered the progress with the various warrior programs, as well as the rapid fielding initiative. Land Warrior kits were modified significantly after the 4/9 test & evaluation.

The integrated controller developed for the Land Warrior suite replaces four different accessory boxes  with one compact package called 'fusion'.Since the suite is modular, it was redesigned to better match the troops preference, moving the radio and batteries to the soldier's back, while the computer, navigator and controller unit (known as 'fusion') is mounted on the side, clearing more space for ammunition and grenades. Such repositioning was possible with the mounted warrior kit, since these warfighters usually operate close to their Stryker armored vehicles. Currently, over 200 land warrior suites are operational in Iraq with the 42nd Brigade Combat Team (BCT).

Operational lessons gathered during the current employment are expected to be instrumental for further progress of future programs. The focus is on empowering the small unit to call for fire; collect and relay target data to command post and fire units and accelerate medical support calls and treatment in combat conditions. Further development of the system was suspended this year as funding due to the program's cancellation by the Army. However, the Senate Armed Services Committee added $80 million to the FY 09 program to resurrect the program, as it migrates into the Army's Future Combat Systems (FCS). Two demonstrations are scheduled for this year, at Ft. Dix and Fort Bennings.

Land Warrior's follow-on development phase known as 'Future Force Warrior' (FFW) program is also developing, and now supports a new Helmet Mounted Display (HMD), a new headset as head mounted subsystems, radio, weapon mounted subsystems, incl. red dot target marker, laser and sight. The optics support zoom-in for snapshot mode, taking pictures of high value targets. The radio supports short range communications of voice and data and links to Stryker radio for longer range support. Electronics gear also includes navigation gear – GPS and dead-rekoning. The suite is powered by Li-145 Lithium Ion batteries supporting 8 – 12 hours of operations. At present, FFW is focusing on reducing weight and load, for example, by the use of ergonomic body armor. Radio is to migrate to JTRS.

Land Warrior systems are currently deployed with the 4th Battalion (Manchu), 9th Infantry Regiment 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT) of the 2nd Infantry Division deployed in Iraq. Initial responses from the field are positive, as users list requests for further additions, such as the integration with sniper detection capability, and 'bredcrums' chemlight style markings depicting movement paths and locations of friendly units. Some of these applications are already implemented in the field, others will be available by by the end of 2007. Land warrior will soon be linked to the Boomerang systems, receiving threat warning on hostile fire sources in their vicinity. The information will be displayed with graphical cues projected on the commander's eyepiece. General Dynamic C4 (GDC4) is delivering six sniper-detection systems to be integrated with Land Warrior suites used by the Stryker Brigade Combat Team currently serving in Iraq. The new capability, requested by Land Warrior-equipped troops serving in Iraq, improves soldiers' ability to detect and respond to enemy sniper fire. The "Boomerang" sniper-detection system built by BBN Technologies will be integrated with Land Warrior systems currently fielded with 'Manchu', enabling Land Warrior-equipped soldiers to identify and respond to a sniper's shot within seconds. More on the current status of Land warrior is available at: AUSA 2007 - Land warrior Update

Back to: Soldier technology 2007 Review

 

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