The French Army’s new FELIN combat systems were delivered to Sarrebourg’s 1st infantry Regiment at the end of August 2010. The soldiers will be outfitted with the mass-produced materiel progressively from the beginning of October to mid November.
Sarrebourg’s 1st Infantry Regiment is the French army’s first unit to receive the mass-produced FELIN system. This is highly symbolic as the regiment has its origins in the “Picard Bands” created by Louis XI in the 15th century, which, with five and a half centuries of history, is the oldest regiment in Europe.
Sagem delivered all of the regiment’s equipment by the end of August 2010. The optronic and communications equipment were delivered to the Central Materiel Department, more specifically the 2nd materiel regiment at Bruz and the gear to the army’s special division of the quartermaster corps (ESCAT) at Mourmelon.
After in-depth controls the materiel was sent on to the 1st Infantry Regiment during the latter half of September. As each regiment will have a thousand FELIN systems, significant logistics are required: 18 30-ton tractor-trailers, 520 pallets, 5 600 boxes containing close to 65 000 items…
A Progressive Adaptation Catered to New Operational Functions
The regiment’s first company began receiving its equipment at the beginning of October. Sagem’s teams are on hand to identify unexpected difficulties and resolve them on site if possible. They are also charged with carrying out tests to check the systems operate properly once they are assembled.
Sagem has trained military instructors at the Draguignan Infantry school to assemble them. In total the entire process is slated to take place over six weeks, involving six 1st Infantry Regiment companies and some ten units from regiments and external corps. FELIN provides soldiers with numerous new features and considerably enhances their capabilities.
The process of adapting to the system – which is already underway – should take roughly six months. Individual adaptation (i.e., how to put the system together, operate and maintain it) comes first, followed by collective adaptation. Exercises will become increasingly elaborated, allowing soldiers to comprehend the new operational functions for an optimal and intuitive use.
This will initially be with combat squads, then platoons, companies and finally the entire regiment.