Under the initial order, a total of 900 soldiers (90 infantry sections or squads) will be outfitted with the new equipment. German infantry units due to deploy to Afghanistan in 2013 and 2014 will be the first to be equipped with Gladius. Rhenmetall received the first contract in June and has awarded Thales a subcontract for the supply of 30 unit systems (with provisions 300 soldier systems) including 310 night vision goggles (Lucie II D and 16 IR modules) and 300 SOLAR 400 EG-E UHF soldier radios. The order also includes option for the second lot of remaining 600 goggles, 192 IR modules and 600 radios.
Lucie II D, a modular NVG is providing a standard night vision goggle of the Bundeswehr. In addition to the optical performance enhancement of the night vision component as compared to the base model, the newly developed goggle for the IdZ 2 has an integrated OLED technology based data and video display. The system has a wide field of vision covering 51 degrees. The new Lucie II DIR features an image overlay over the IR image, enhancing the reconnaissance performance and night-combat capabilities for the soldier’s mission. It provides the interface to the soldier’s “Body Net” in the IdZ 2, enabling the display of images, terrain layout, maps or map sections, in a full image or mixed-image modes, by superimposing night vision images with tactical and status information in the upper or lower display area.
SOLAR 400 UHF group radio provides the communications segment for the “Gladius” project. This IP radio supporting three separate channels – the UHF team / squad network, the vehicle intercom and VHF lead radio, connecting the squad leader to the platoon. SOLAR 400 supports data transfer rates of 384 kbit/sec on wireless radio communications, while the SOLAR 400 EG-E supporting three separate networks intra-squad operating full-duplex voice over data communications, over distances of 2000 meters in open area or 700 mw in urban area. Solar 400 EG-E covers the entire UHF spectrum of 225-400 MHz,
Using an optimized antenna located behind the soldier’s shoulder, ensuring optimal coverage at the maximum range while also adhering to applicable health regulations. The wave form is implemented by software, is adaptable to changing requirements and, if needed, can also be ported to SVFuA, the German Software Defined Radio.
Two Li-Ion batteries with integrated SM bus provide the central, uninterruptible power supply of the control and communications system on the soldier’s body. The batteries are equipped with a charge status indicator, and can be exchanged during operation due to the redundant design.