Feeds

Green Berets get wearable combat smartphones

Monocle-vid computing for the rest of the best

The essential guide to IT transformation

It would seem that the American Land Warrior wearable war-smartphone system, once reviled by troops and cancelled by top brass, is now firmly on the road to military fashionability. The ultimate kit accolade - used by special forces - now appears to have been bestowed on the digi-trooper gear.

The Land Warrior system in use. Credit: PEO Soldier

Improved GUI my ass

Land Warrior in its present form consists of a small low-power computer with ARM processor, GPS sat nav, radio networking, a flip-down monocle display and a keyboard/mouse unit worn on combat webbing. It is in use by the 5th Stryker Brigade Combat Team fighting in Afghanistan, following a successful tour in Iraq with a US infantry battalion.

Now Military.com reports that US Army kit bigwigs have stated that a modified version of Land Warrior will now be issued to "a Special Forces battalion". As the Land Warrior programme was officially cancelled in 2007, the gear is now known, apparently, as "Ground Soldier System".

In the US military, the term "Special Forces" isn't generic as it is in the UK - it refers specifically to US Army Special Forces, aka the Green Berets (as distinct from Navy SEALs, Delta Force, Rangers, Marine Force Recon etc etc, all generically grouped as "special operations forces"). If the report is accurate, then, it's Army Special Forces who will get the new Land Warrior.

The Green Berets, while undeniably frightfully elite, are "Tier Two" specwar people, not "Tier One" like Delta Force, the best of the best. The Berets are the rest of the best, as it were.

For supertrooper use, the Land Warrior's ordinary radio networking will apparently be upgraded to include satellite comms. Every operator will carry it, rather than just team leaders as in line units, and reportedly there will be a new and improved GUI as well. The kit is expected to weigh about the same as the 7lb sets now in use by the 5th SBCT.

Acceptance by special forces usually makes a piece of gear trendy enough in military circles that it's sure to become widely used in time. It would appear that Western soldiers really will be networked up fairly soon now.

So what's next for Land Warrior Ground Soldier System?

According to Colonel Will Riggins of Program Executive Office Soldier, it's a wireless personal area network style setup, as opposed to today's cables and wires snaking around a soldier's body armour and helmet.

"Once we're there I think we're going to have another huge jump in capability," the colonel told Military.com. ®

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

More from The Register

next story
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
Apple's iWatch? They cannae do it ... they don't have the POWER
Analyst predicts fanbois will have to wait until next year
Super Cali signs a kill-switch, campaigners say it's atrocious
Remote-death button bad news for crooks, protesters – and great news for hackers?
Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables
Right in the middle of Burning Mains Man week
AMD unveils 'single purpose' graphics card for PC gamers and NO ONE else
Chip maker claims the Radeon R9 285 is 'best in its class'
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Barnes & Noble: Swallow a Samsung Nook tablet, please ... pretty please
Novelslab finally on sale with ($199 - $20) price tag
Will It Blend? Maybe. BlackBerry’s secret comeback weapon
The Desktop PIM buddy: A 1990s idea finally done right?
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Scale data protection with your virtual environment
To scale at the rate of virtualization growth, data protection solutions need to adopt new capabilities and simplify current features.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
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?