Reducing the size, weight and power (SWaP) requirements of wearable electronics means a lot for the dismounted warfighter – both leaders and riflemen. Elbit Systems, the prime contractor for the Israel Defense Forces ‘digital army program’ (DAP) also known as Zayad has developed and deployed such systems called ‘Dominator’, in support of the dismounted commanders. Similar systems have also been exported to several armed forces, among them the Australian Army.
Over the years Dominator has also shrinked in size, into a smaller, lighter and leaner machine, comprising the PDU wearable computer, weighting merely 450 grams, an 8 inch touch-screen display used primarily for planning and debriefing, and an eyepiece tailored for combat operations. To streamline with DAP, The PDU runs a dedicated networking middleware called ‘Tiger’, which streamlines and synchronizes all data transfer to match the user’s permissions, based on classification, hierarchical, geographical and organizational lineage. The PDU runs voice, data, video and communications interfaces supporting all peripheral equipment, thus saving significant weight in previously redundant functions individually supported in legacy equipment.
The next evolutionary step for Dominator is an even lighter and leaner gear that weighs only 2.5 kilograms, known as ‘Dominator Light Warrior’ (DLW), was announced a year ago but was unveiled in public at DSEI and AUSA 2013 this year. Adhering to the modern smartphone concept, Elbit Systems’ new ruggedized computer running an Android operating system is called ‘Raptor’. It has a 4.3 inch touch screen, Android operating system built-in GPS, digital compass, moving map and a standard set of, fitted with a library of built-in services and apps that can be downloaded from the network. The Raptor supports networked and offline operating modes, as it establishes ad-hoc connectivity over wireless, or links over secure data networking, via the warfighetr’s radio set, where it can synchronize specific files among team members (sending order sets, receiving reports), as it physically links to the radio, when the Raptor is docked into the wearer’s webbing.