New advanced future soldier equipment is on its way to the German Army through a contract placed with defence firm Rheinmetall AG.
Described by its developers as the world's most advanced technology of its kind, it's known as the Gladius system and it'll be supplied to 90 Germany Army infantries and squads, making its operational debut next year in Afghanistan.
The order comes three years after Rheinmetall was contracted to produce a prototype Gladius system, adding to the basic Future Soldier systems ordered by German defence officials back in 2005.
Gladius Future Soldier System
The Gladius future soldier enhancement system is meant to supplement the original Future Soldier on several levels, helping troops fight more effectively on the frontline and network more efficiently with colleagues. According to Rheinmetall, Gladius has been designed with the specific needs of modern warfighters in mind.
‘Gladius is intended first and foremost to bring the 10-man infantry section and its vehicle into the network-enabled operational loop', the firm states in a press release. ‘This network, consisting of reconnaissance, command and control components, and weapons, enables rapid exchange of information as well as shared situational awareness as the basis for planning and conducting operations.'
Included in Gladius are a whole host of future soldier technologies. For standard warfighters, they include low-visibility, high-protection body armour, night vision goggles, a helmet display, a UHF squad radio and a digital compass. Infantry commanders get a VHF troop radio and a portable control computer, while also provided for the whole infantry are light machine guns, grenade launchers, light anti tank weapons and assault rifles, plus monoculars and binoculars, spotting scopes and thermal imagers.
Gladius German Army Order
Through supplying all this, Gladius is meant to these give selected German Army infantry units effective combat tools and relevant and constant access to regularly-updated tactical data.
‘More than just the sum of its parts, the Gladius system puts Bundeswehr [German armed forces] infantrymen on the global cutting edge, placing them ahead of their peers in terms of networking capabilities, command and control, and operational efficiency', Rheinmetall AG adds.
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