Beginning in 2016, the Dutch Army purchased 80 Smart Vests. The Smart Vest is a ballistic vest with an integrated, mobile communication system which includes GPS and Blue Force Tracking, and is a part of the material project, Improved Operational Soldier System (VOSS). With a comms package by the Israeli firm Elbit and battery and GPS systems from Thales Netherlands, the Army plans to begin fielding 5,500 examples of the Smart Vest in 2017.
In the photo below, from the Dutch Army newspaper, a member of C Company from the 42nd Battalion “Limburgse Jagers”, tests a prototype of the Smart Vest, which took place over a three week period. The evaluation results will be shared with the manufacturers for any possible improvements.
As you can see in this second photo, the Smart Vest is in the equipment camo variant of NFP. During the US Army’s Camouflage Improvement Effort, there was to be a family of camouflage patterns developed with three-to-four patterns, all sharing common shapes and geometry. The first would be for Transitional use. Additional bookends for Woodland and Arid environments were to be offered as well as an optional fourth pattern specifically for use with Organizational Clothing and Individual Equipment, although most contenders chose to use their Transitional patterns for this purpose. The Netherlands Fractal Pattern program takes a similar approach, with specialty patterns for different environments. Coincidentally, this is the first public photo of the NFP equipment pattern. The combat shirt is a trial version as well, although it is in a Coyote color.
The Smart Vest is powered by the E-lighter, a Fokker developed portable diesel generator, which provides 48 hours of power. Like the Smart Vest, the E-Lighter is an independent subproject under VOSS, with development almost complete.