Rheinmetall awarded IdZ-ES soldier systems contract
Rheinmetall has received a contract with a gross value of $420 million from the German armed forces (Bundeswehr) to supply Future Soldier Expanded System (IdZ-ES) to equip 68 infantry platoons, the company announced on 28 June.
The IdZ-ES integrates infantry and mechanised infantry platoons and their vehicles, which are specially equipped to serve as base stations, into the network-enabled warfare loop.
The system enables troops on the ground to detect, recognise and identify targets, either by engaging themselves or by calling in additional fire support. The IdZ-ES has been in service with German troops in Afghanistan since summer 2013.
Since 2012, the Bundeswehr has acquired three lots, a total of 90 systems. Each of the systems is designed to equip a ten-man section or squad and the 68 platoon systems are capable of equipping more than 2,460 soldiers.
The battery-powered core computer, worn on the soldier’s back and known as the ‘electronic backbone’, controls all the devices and sensors carried by the soldier through various interfaces. Its principal functions include power supply management, access control and monitoring, the soldier information system for map and situation display, navigation, reporting, exchange of reconnaissance and target data, processing sensor data, operator interfaces and visualisation as well as system configuration.
Through a manually operated control and display unit known as the BAG, the soldier can control the Soldier Command System and communication. All relevant data of the current situation, the position of friendly forces, mission and system status is displayed either on the BAG or on the OLED helmet display.
The modular battle dress uniform can be adapted to meet the current environmental and temperature conditions. Other features include the ballistic body armour (Protection Class 1) with integrated ventilation shirt and a modular harness for carrying ammunition, ordnance, the electronic backbone and additional equipment.
The IdZ-ES protective vest comes with chest rig and hip belt and ballistic inserts, providing protection up to German Level 4. A rifle-mounted push-to-talk button enables wireless communication even when the operator leader has raised his weapon. Small arms can also be fitted with optical and optronic devices of the latest generation.
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