Another great European brand we had a chance to chat with at DSEI was Austria-based Carinthia. They manufacture a range of sleeping bags, shelters and environmental clothing systems. Several of their items are used by European SOF units and they often create special make up variants of their products such as those shown below.
This is a Gore-Tex shell that has been adopted by a European SOF organization. It’s a modified version of the Carinthia Tactical Rain Garment which includes Trousers. It utilizes a Topaz ePTFE membrane with a polyamide shell.
That same unit also issues this jacket was an insulated garment. It’s a variant of Carinthia’s Extreme Cold Insulation Jacket and includes Trousers. It uses G-loft ISO+ polyester insulation with a polyamide shell featuring a GORE Windstopper membrane.
Gear Dynamics is a Canadian gear manufacturer which makes load carrying gear, slings, and belts. Their products are made from MilSpec materials, and are available in standard colors such as Black and Coyote Brown, and camouflages including MultiCam patterns, Kryptek patterns, and PenCott patterns.
At DSEI we got to take a look at the Future Soldier Vision, the UK Ministry of Defence’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory’s conceptual vision of what the Soldier will look like in 2024.
Soldiers will have enhanced multi-spectral sensors enabled by modular integration, to provide mission-tailored systems at significantly reduced weight. Sensors will be capable of fusing their feeds and being shared between soldiers, providing collaborative targeting and engagement capabilities. For example this network capability will enable small unmanned aircraft systems to provide commanders with enhanced battlefield surveillance and target acquisition.
– Integrated sensors
– Integrated power supply
– Hearing protection system
– Respirator/mandible connector
Soldiers will be able to tailor their protection according to the mission requirement, balancing protection with agility to provide optimal survivability. Future systems will consist of tiered, modular protection providing enhanced capability, without increasing weight. Design and integration with other elements of the soldier system will ensure legacy and future compatibility.
– Hard body armor
– Ratchet adjusting system
– Integrated connectors
– Asymmetric design
– Quick release cord
– Flexible shoulder pads
– Integrated power supply
– Integrated load carrying
Wearable Communications Concept
The advent of a body sensor network will provide real-time reporting of soldier health. Sensors embedded in the helmet, clothing, and smartwatch will monitor physical health and performance. Wirelessly linked to the soldier processing system, the availability of this data will allow the commander to make informed decisions during combat. If the soldier is seriously injured, information will enable medics to act faster during the ‘golden hour’ following trauma.
– Biometric data
– Push to talk
– Screen graphic
– Screen protection
– Accessing functionality
Smart Glasses Concept
The presentation of real-time data will enable greater clarity and quality of information throughout the operational system.
– Heads up display with augmented reality presentation
– Bone conducting headphones
– Integrated camera
– Power and data connection
Personal Role Computer Concept
Commanders and troops will be provided with information across a set of connected devices covering visual, acoustic, and tactile interfaces to access voice, data, video, and historical information. The information architecture will ensure commonality of data, with each device determining the appropriate means of presentation. Navigation system will incorporate simultaneous localization and mapping technology and be capable of operating in a global positioning system-denied environment.
– Screen protection
– Screen graphic
– USB protection
– Push to talk
Individual weapons will have improved ergonomics, with effects spanning combinations of lethal and non-lethal capabilities. The ability to seamlessly provide targeting information between soldiers and their units will allow collaborative engagement to become commonplace. The increase in timeliness and accuracy of multiple weapon systems will result in a more effective fighting force.
– Enhanced stock design
– Digital optical weapon sights
– Adjustable down grip
– Adjustable pistol grip
Although not specifically mentioned in the other technology areas, they also displayed this conceptual boot.
Much of the development work was accomplished by Kinneir Dufort. They also had a display of the system in their booth.
The London Metropolitan Police recently adopted the SIG SAUER MCX in 5.56mm. The configuration the chose was on display in the Edgar Brothers booth and we got a photo. As we understand it, the G36s in service will remain but will eventually be pushed to other LE organizations. Interest in the .300 variant of the MCX grows but the caliber must still be certified for LE use in the UK.
This is the FROG.PRO LC-AWPC (Laser Cut-Air Warrior Plate Carrier).
Their take on a PALS compatible system consists of a proprietary composite fabric called LAHYCO, made of Hypalon and Cordura 500D. It allows them s to add some special features such as utility holes for shock cord or slots for QASM buckles.
Its light weight (480g). The inner ballistic plates pouches, thanks to the Open Top design are suitable for any shape of rigid ballistic plates. The low profile design allows the wearer to use it as a concealed vest. The supplied adapters allow it to attach the new LC line chest rigs.
Available in Coyote Tan, Ranger Green, Vegetato EI, MultiCam.
Virtus is the British Army’s latest Soldier Protection initiative. During DSEI we showed you the helmet component of Virtus band 1, manufactured by Revision. We stopped by the Source Vagabond booth where we got a closer look at the armor and load carriage components of this new system that begins fielding this month to the British Army. Over the next seven years, the entire Army will be outfitted with Virtus which consists of over 50 items consisting of Head Subsystem, Load Carriage Subsystem, Hydration Subsystem, Extremities Subsystem, Torso Protection Subsystem, Chassis Subsystem and Pouches Subsystem.
The Scalable Tactical Vest is the heart of the system and allows the wear of concealable armor, wear as a plate carrier, combining the two as a body armor vest as well as the addition of extremity protection including neck, bicep groin and lower back armor.
The right side of the vest features a Velcro shoulder strap which is used by the wearer to don and doff it under admin conditions. Conversely, the cutaway system is located on the left side of the chest and only releases the left side of the vest. The cutaway consists of upper and lower molded plastic pins that fit through channels in hinge-like buckles, lining up at the left shoulder and left cummerbund area. There is a pull tab that must be pulled outward (perpendicular), away from the vest. To pull up or down means that the opposite pin will not be activated.
Attached to this Scalable Tactical Vest is the Dynamic Weight Distribution spine bar. The DWD is adjustable up and down allowing the wearer to transfer the weight of the STV to the hip belt. We have written about Source’s DWD in the past as it is licensed to Force Protector Gear here in the US.
This is the hip belt along with low profile suspenders for wear under the MTV.
This is the front buckle of the Hip Belt.
The DWD can also be used with any of the pack options. Below is the 90l version.
In addition to the 90l pack, there are 45l assault packs and leader packs.
Source specializes in hydration and they’ve offered two carriers with Virtus.
The program also offers a variety of PALS compatible pouches. All issue items are in Multi Terrain Pattern but there were a couple of items in Coyote in the booth which were easier to examine than the camouflage examples.
Virtus does not include clothing items. The current fielding of Band 1 incorporates existing soft armor and plates. Band 2 of Virtus which will commence soon examines new plates and armor. Band 3 will add power and a databus to the armor and load carriage.
During my recent visit to England for DSEI, I picked up a Wearable SplashMap of central London. It featured every street I needed, including what essentially were alleyways between major streets. Plus, it was easy to stuff in my pocket yet pull right out and use. No crazy map folding skills needed here.
Inspired by silk escape maps, Wearable Maps can be worn as a scarf or stuffed in a pocket. They won’t wrinkle and there’s no stretch. You can even write on them with Crayola washable markers and was the map clean later. They are printed on weatherproof, colorfast satin and are 72cm x 72cm.
In addition to a wide variety of ready made cloth maps featuring popular international destinations, SplashMaps will custom make a map for you (Make-a-Map), using native digital sources such as Ordnance Survey, OpenStreetMap and US Geological Survey. Maps of the UK are generally 1:25 000 scale and international maps 1:40 000. You even get to pick the title. Naturally, they’ll do limited runs for events such as races or training as well.