Switzerland Awards $20 Million SFR for IMESS Soldier Systems’ Production Engineering

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On March 1 the company announced receiving a contract worth over 20 million Swiss francs from the Swiss defence procurement authority Armasuisse, for the advanced production engineering of the Integrated and Modular Engagement System for the Swiss Soldier (IMESS) program. While the selection of Cassidian’s Warrior21 by Switzerland was publicized before, the new contract puts the program in motion for the preliminary production phase.

IMESS prototypes based on Warrior 21 have been proving their worth since 2007 through field tests and demonstrations. Under the current phase these combat suites will be designed for production standard, employing more efficient, powerful and durable components, utilizing optimized communication media, significantly improved weight and energy balance enabled by the deployment of new and optimized components. The system is expected to integrate into the Swiss Army joint reconnaissance, command and action forces. To ensure command-and-control capability on high-mobility operations, the contract also provides for the equipping of combat vehicles – including the tactical military vehicle DURO and the armored assault vehicle PIRANHA – and their integration into the IMESS network.

IMESS systems address tactical command-and-control functions from company level to the individual soldier level. The system supports soldiers operating on dismounted or vehicular operations. Enhanced situational awareness and navigation is maintained through the use of head/helmet mounted displays, and better night fighting and reconnaissance capabilities through such means as navigation aids and video streaming of night weapon sights (optronics).

The system uses more powerful, energy-efficient ‘electronic backbone’ offering reduced unit count and more reliable harnesses, cabling and connectors being integrated to handle the heavy loads encountered in infantry operation scenarios. The systems’ PowerController enables the soldier to tap into a wide range of energy sources gaining constant power upon availability. The system’s modular architecture supports a wide range of standard interfaces to sensors, as well as modules for link-up with external systems.