During the recent Soldier Technology 2007 conference and exhibition, held in une 2008 in London, Col. Richard Hanson, EO Soldier Program Manager briefed on the status of the US Army’s program. Hansen’s briefing covered the progress with the various warrior programs, as well as the rapid fielding initiative. Land Warrior kits were modified significantly after the 4/9 test & evaluation.
Since the suite is modular, it was redesigned to better match the troops preference, moving the radio and batteries to the soldier’s back, while the computer, navigator and controller unit (known as ‘fusion’) is mounted on the side, clearing more space for ammunition and grenades. Such repositioning was possible with the mounted warrior kit, since these warfighters usually operate close to their Stryker armored vehicles. Currently, over 200 land warrior suites are operational in Iraq with the 42nd Brigade Combat Team ().
Operational lessons gathered during the current employment are expected to be instrumental for further progress of future programs. The focus is on empowering the small unit to call for fire; collect and relay target data to command post and fire units and accelerate medical support calls and treatment in combat conditions. Further development of the system was suspended this year as funding due to the program’s cancellation by the Army. However, the Senate Armed Services Committee added $80 million to the FY 09 program to resurrect the program, as it migrates into the Army’s Future Combat Systems (FCS). Two demonstrations are scheduled for this year, at Ft. Dix and Fort Bennings.