The German Bundesamt fÃ¼r Wehrtechnik und Beschaffung (Federal Agency for Defense Technology and Procurement) in Koblenz, awarded Rheinmetall Defence a contract for pre-production examples of the IdZ-ES (Infanterist der Zukunft – Erweitertes System or Future Soldier – Expanded System) last Thursday, 17 December.
The program began in 2004 but in 2006 Rheinmetall Defence assumed lead for development of the system after an EADS led â€œProjekthaus System Soldatâ€ version proved to have deficiencies. Rheinmetall claims this is an entirely new system. Full-scale procurement is to begin in 2012. Ultimately, they plan to purchase 1000 kits for all three armed services with each kit equipping 10 men.