The Finnish Army has selected the Israeli company Elbit Systems to supply ‘soldier systems’ equipping Finnish infantry commanders to function command, control and communications in dismounted operations. This acquisition is the first phase of a comprehensive ISTAR (Intelligence, Surveillance, Target Acquisition and Reconnaissance) program known as STAR. The solution offered by Elbit Systems includes the compact MARS handheld targeting device, coupled with a computer systems loaded with situation awareness software, connected through the man-portable PNR1000 wearable soldier radio. The system is intended to enhance the operational capabilities of the Finnish Army in the areas of reconnaissance, terrain dominance and dismounted operations. The new system will also support the Finnish Army in developing new combat doctrines, and as a basis for developing its future forward observation program.
Bezhalel (Butzi) Machlis, General Manager of Elbit Systems’ Land and C4I Division, commented: “We are proud that Finland, a NATO Partner of Peace, has selected our systems following a rigorous competition, including field testing in Lapland. This win affirms yet again our leadership as a supplier of advanced solutions for soldier systems.”
The ‘future soldier’ program for the Finnish Army known as ‘Warrior 2020’ is currently conducted on a parallel path, under the Technology Programme 2010 (TP2010) framework spanning four years of evaluation and development of advanced soldier systems for the Finnish Army, scheduled to be fielded by 2017. The Finnish Army is seeking three different versions of the suite, designed for the Regular forces, Territorial Army, and Special Operations. Prime contractor of the TP2010 program is the British company Savox, with Finnish EO manufacturer Millog, network expert Nethawk and Instra acting as subcontractors.