Feeds

Land Warrior war-smartphone tech support goes to A'stan

General Dynamics opens Genius Bar in Spin Boldak

Protecting against web application threats using SSL

The Land Warrior wearable military smartphone rig - one of the few of its type to have seen combat service in large numbers - continues to rise from its ashes, having been officially cancelled in 2007. However, the kit is now in service in Afghanistan, and makers General Dynamics have just announced a $50m tech-support deal from the US Army.

A soldier equipped with the latest iteration of Land Warrior. Credit: GD C4 Systems

The face of the text-message generation.

Originally, Land Warrior was to be issued to every dismounted footsoldier. It also included an unpopular on-rifle telescopic camera unit, intended to let troops shoot round corners and relay pics or video to each other. Worst of all, it weighed more than 15 pounds. Bad reviews from the first unit to get it, the 4th battalion of the 9th US Infantry ("the Manchus") led generals to scrap the project.

But then the Manchus were scrambled to Iraq as part of the US troop "surge", and Land Warrior went with them for a long and bloody combat tour. Five per cent of the Manchus died and Land Warrior was stripped down to 7 lb, losing the widely disliked gun-camera and other fripperies. Nowadays it consists of its ARM-based computer, GPS satnav, radio networking, flip-down monocle display and a combined mouse/keypad unit worn on combat webbing. These days it is worn only by team leaders.

Today the new leaner and meaner Land Warrior is back in action with the 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team at Spin Boldak, Afghanistan. The 5th SBCT, along with large numbers of US Marines, has been ordered into the war-torn south to fight alongside British troops who have been there in strength since 2005. They specifically asked for Land Warrior following positive commentary from the Manchus.

Positive features apparently include the ability to get text messages through even when the radio net is struggling to handle voice comms, and the way in which all units can see each other on the Land Warrior map - and also icons or markers injected by unit leaders.

Yesterday's announcement from General Dynamics C4 Systems said that the Army has now awarded the firm an initial one-year $19m contract for Land Warrior tech support, which could go as high as $50m if all options are exercised. Company service engineers will apparently deploy into theatre with "all Land Warrior equipped units". ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
PORTAL TO ELSEWHERE scried in small galaxy far, far away
Supermassive black hole dominates titchy star formation
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Edge Research Lab to tackle chilly LOHAN's final test flight
Our US allies to probe potential Vulture 2 servo freeze
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
Cracked it - Vulture 2 power podule fires servos for 4 HOURS
Pixhawk avionics juice issue sorted, onwards to Spaceport America
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.