What will the British infantry of 2025 look like? At the recent Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) exhibitions in London, Britain's Ministry of Defence (MOD) took the wraps off its Future Soldier Vision (FSV), which is what the Ministry imagines a high-tech squaddie of the next decade might look like. Developed by the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), the British Army, Kinneir Dufort, and SEA Ltd, the FSV is based on projections of today's commercial and military technology.
The concept battle dress features sensor-laden body armor for better survivability and situational awareness, as well as a personal-role computer and information-sharing network capability. The most obvious advance of the FSV is the helmet, which serves as more of an information processing center than a plastic brain bucket. Referred to as a "head sub-system," an integrated power supply runs a crown of lightweight sensors that not only feed data to the wearer, but to fellow squad members.
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Over the ears are bone conducting headphones that improve communications and situational awareness without interfering with the wearer's hearing. What look like shooting glasses on the FSV are actually smart glasses with a built-in camera and a heads-up display to relay data. Continuing the wearable data concept is a smartwatch that monitors and records biometric data.
The FSV protects the body of the soldier of tomorrow with customizable segmented armor with flexible shoulder pads to not only enhance protection, but to also distribute weight from the notoriously heavy loads squaddies routinely carry in the field. In addition, the armor has its own integrated power supply, power and data connectors, and an emergency release cord to get the lot off fast.
Completing the FSV is a concept weapon that is ergonomic, customizable, and can share targeting information with other soldiers and units.
"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," says Ross Jones, Programme Manager for Close Combat Systems, Dstl. "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 video below outlines the Future Soldier Vision concept.