The UK’s involvement in Afghanistan regularly saw dismounted riflemen carrying heavy loads, often up to 60 kilograms. In the future, to help our soldiers in their vital and dangerous role, there is a desire to reduce this burden and improve their equipment. Dstl has worked with Army Headquarters and helped to show that a lighter body armour plate could be preferable in some warfighting environments. This will lighten the soldier’s burden by up to 2 kilograms – the greatest weight saving for the dismounted soldier since Afghanistan.
But improving the equipment for the Army’s soldiers is more than simply lightening the load. Army HQ has a vision for the future soldier of the 2020s that exploits rapid advances in technology to revolutionise the dismounted soldier’s equipment in its entirety.
A team of Dstl analysts and engineers from the Defence and Security Analysis and Platform Systems Divisions worked with partners in industry and academia to develop and promote the Future Soldier Vision (FSV) for Army HQ. It incorporates research and expertise from Dstl and a number of companies to produce an integrated soldier system that balances military need with technological capability.
- A lighter burden with different body armour
- Improved combat clothing
- An integrated soldier system with the latest technology
Dstl’s work on FSV has begun to reduce the burden on the dismounted soldier by redefining the armour requirements as well as exploring options for power and data on the soldier. The FSV clothing concept was used to identify key human factors requirements for procuring a new close combat clothing set.
The Secretary of State for Defence said that FSV was “demonstrating our commitment to ensuring our soldiers have the kit they need to keep our country safe”. FSV has also been briefed to the US and Canadian armies and to NATO.
Working with others
This work was done in partnership with:
- Royal College of Art