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FELIN Update

SSD was able to get a few minutes at the French Army (Armée de Terre) during AUSA. We had the pleasure to meet British-born Adjutant-Chef Alex Rowe who after being rejected by the British Army joined the Légion étrangère which is made up of foreign recruits. Oddly enough, he was rejected for service by the Brits because of a bad eye yet went on to serve as a sniper with the French and was awarded the Légion d’honneur, France’s highest medal for merit.

Adjudant-Chef Rowe is quite the hero, no matter whose Army he serves in and deserves his own article. We were quite surprised that he was acquainted with SSD and discussed the latest upgrades to the French Army’s future soldier system called FELIN (Fantassin à Équipement et Liaisons Intégrés or Integrated Equipment and Communications Infantryman).

Many of the most recent upgrades are software based and allow more intuitive control of the peripheral devices which can be attached to the Soldier’s personal network via either umbilical or blue tooth. Additional software enhancements are concerned with power management and switch off non critical systems as power levels subside. The French are also fielding battery charging stations that can be mounted in vehicles or connected to shore power in command post tents or buildings. The charging stations feature armor panels that protect the batteries from damage as well as protect Soldiers and vital electronics from the effects of a perforated lithium battery.

Adjudant-Chef Rowe also mentioned that the French Army is transitioning to the fourth generation of their combat uniform which we mentioned in February of this year. They are removing the Canadian slotted buttons from the chest as well as the patch pockets as they are uncomfortable under armor.

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