Several companies displayed the results of infantry combat systems
development programs, as well as generic upgrades for infantry weapons,
protection, sensors, communications etc. At Eurosatory, the most
prominent was undoubtedly FELIN. Displayed in public for the first
time by Sagem, FELIN is currently in full scale development, in
scheduled delivery to the French Army next year.
Other European systems displayed here included EADS' German Army
Infantry of the Future (idZ) Program launched in 2004; the Italian
Soldato Futuro program developed by Finmeccanica and systems designed for the
Canadian Future Infantry Program, currently under development at
Oerlikon Contraves. Several Israeli programs were represented,
including the AISS developed by ITL and the
IDF Future Infantry Suite,
currently under development at Elbit Systems. IAI/MLM and IMI jointly
demonstrated the MPRS
DTACT weapon integrated sensor and
system. Thales demonstrated the
FIST infantry combat suite, under
development for the British Army.
An operational FELIN demonstration was presented in
public for the first time during Eurosatory 2006. The system on display included
for a dismounted grenadier and commander as well as the associated vehicular
components, which would be carried on a VAB armored troop carrier. The soldier's
systems included operational helmet mounted cameras and displays,
wearable computers and weapon's mounted cameras and sighting systems.
In a typical grenadier configuration, the entire FELIN ensemble will
weigh 24 kg, including the modified
FAMAS rifle, electronic and optronic devices, communications gear, day and night
vision devices as well as supplies
including ammunition, food and water required to sustain troops for 24
hours of operation.
Felin will be deployed in two configurations. The near term FELIN V1
program calls for the delivery of 22,600 units for 20 infantry
regiments and 9,000 systems for soldiers in armored units, beginning
with 358 pre-series units to be delivered by February 2007 for a year
long French Army trial. Mass production is scheduled to start in 2008.
This phase will focus on the delivery of optronic systems, and will be followed by the delivery of advanced versions, known as FELIN V2
planned for production by 2015.
new Multi-Purpose Anti-tank weapons designed for dismounted operations
were displayed. Among these were the new
Milan ER, and the
latest version of the RPG-29,
equipped with tandem HEAT warhead, which can penetrate explosive
reactive armor, and a thermobaric warhead effective against buildings