Sensor-laden body armor, a smart watch that monitors life signs and smart glasses with integrated cameras are all part of a futuristic design for military uniforms, unveiled today.
The Future Soldier Vision (FSV) is part of the Ministry of Defence’s plan to ensure that British soldiers of the future have high quality equipment, utilizing the latest technologies. Today’s unveiling shows what a soldier could be wearing and using on the battlefield in the 2020s, based on current military research and emerging commercial technology.
The first phase of the concept has been developed by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) with industry partners Kinneir Dufort and SEA Ltd with the British Army. It will be on display at the Future Soldier Showcase at DSEI, in the Land Zone.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:
“In an uncertain world, it is vital that we continually look at the future threats our Armed Forces might face. The Future Soldier Vision, which is supported by the protected Defence budget, our £160 billion equipment plan and the very best of the UK’s science and technology expertise, demonstrates our commitment to ensuring our soldiers have the kit they need to keep our country safe.”
Ross Jones, Program Manager for Close Combat Systems, Defence Science and Technology Laboratory said:
“The Future Soldier Vision concept provides the MOD and industry with an aim point for what the soldier could look like a decade from now. It provides a platform to challenge what this future could be and how industry and academia could help the MOD to make it a reality.”
The design includes:
- Head sub-system concept incorporating hearing protection, lightweight sensors for information sharing and an integrated power supply.
- Torso sub-system concept of segmented armor that can be customized to the user or situation with integrated connectors and power supply. It also features a quick release cord, which releases armor at the shoulders in an emergency and flexible shoulder pads for added protection and to help with weight distribution when carrying loads.
- Smart watch style wearable communications concept which incorporates sensors to record the user’s biometric data.
- Smart glasses concept which include a heads-up display, integrated camera and bone conducting headphones to increase situational awareness without compromising hearing.
- A robust personal role computer concept enabling better information sharing and communications between personnel.
- Ergonomically designed and customizable the weapon concept will allow targeting information to be shared between soldiers and their units.
The Future Soldier Vision is designed to work as an integrated system with survivability, enhanced situational awareness and network capability all central to the concept. Protection technology, a network of sensors for information sharing and power and data connectors will also all be built-in.