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MILITARY TECHNOLOGY (MILTECH) is the world's leading international tri-service defence monthly magazine in the English language. MILITARY TECHNOLOGY is "Required Reading for Defence Professionals". Follow us on Twitter: MILTECH1

26 February 2015

IDEX 2015: Rheinmetall exhibits soldier modernisation solution

During IDEX 2015, Rheinmetall is showing a modular smart vest solution that will enhance connectivity at the squad and platoon level of infantry forces. Based on experience Rheinmetall gained when developing the Gladius programme for the German military, the latest product is Rheinmetall's bid for the Canadian army's soldier modernisation programme. MT has learned that there are currently only two companies that remain in the race for the Canadian requirement out of five that brought out bids, Rheinmetall being one of two. A decision on which system will be selected appears imminent.

Rheinmetall's system would be equipped with Harris' 7800 Secure Personal Radio although Rheinmetall officials emphasised the fact that it could easily be adapted to take the latest 7850 version which has MESH capability. The vest is fitted with a LI80 li-ion battery that guarantees power supply for 24 hours. Also available is the more powerful LI 145 battery that has shown to be capable of supporting the vest's electronic subsystems for 36 hours, even under arctic conditions. Equipped with two of these batteries, Rheinmetall's soldier modernisation solution can guarantee that the individual soldier is self supporting with regard to power supply for 72 hours, which is an objective for most specialized light infantry forces such as airborne and air assault units when operating deep in enemy terrain. One can easily switch from one battery to another while a commercial camera or laser range finder could also be connected to the system. The radio has relay functionality with multiple slots having been allocated for voice, data and relay transmissions. If introduced, the more advanced RF 7850 SPR would provide dynamic MESH capability. If required, other radios such as the Thales PRC-152 MBITR could also be integrated.
Pieter Bastiaans

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