Russia in talks with France on ‘future soldier’ gear

By on Friday, February 25th, 2011

Russia is holding talks with France on the purchase of Felin advanced “future soldier” equipment, which includes new combat clothing with body armor and a new ballistic helmet, weapons, and a portable computer.

“We will take several Felin sets, we are currently in talks with our French partners,” First Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Popovkin said on Thursday.

Felin, produced by France’s Sagem Defense & Security, is currently entering service with the French Army. The system includes a vest containing an integrated radio and GPS system, a hardened laptop computer and advanced optronics.

The new Russian state arms procurement plan includes the creation of a Russian analog of the system, Popovkin said.

“We need something no less capable than the equipment that is now being studied by the United States, Germany and other states,” he said.

The Russian military command places the lives of its soldiers above all else, Popovkin said, which is why it had concluded an agreement with Italy’s IVECO for armored vehicles to be made in Russia.

He expressed regret that a similar vehicle was not being made in Russia by a domestic producer.

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