FirstSpear TV

DSEI 23 – British Soldier 2025

As part of the new SoldierWorks, the British Army booth at DSEI displayed a mannequin outfitted with equipment which would be at home with any allied SOF unit.

Here is the plate at the mannequin’s feet.

What struck me was how soon 2025 is, barely 16 months away. Generally, such displays depict a vision of a decade or more in the future in order for the acquisition system to create requirements and industry to fulfill them. It also gives enough time that when nothing happens, most of us have forgotten about the broken promises of a shiny future.

This near-future set up was in contrast with the current issue kit. Some of where they’d like to be is already there, like ATAK and new binocular night vision. Other systems such as the L85A3 rifle, Virtus armor, load carriage and helmet, are deeply entrenched in the British Forces.

I also met several members of B Coy, 2nd Bn, Special Operations Brigade, aka the Ranger Regiment, during the symbolic signing of the L403A1 Alternative Individual Weapon System contract at the Edgar Brothers’ booth. Between the adoption of AIWS for certain units like the Ranger Regiment and Royal Marines and upcoming Project Graeburn to replace the SA80 wholesale, the bullpup is on its way out.

The Rangers were equipped with the new Knights Armament produced rifle along with Ops-Core FAST helmets, and Crye Precision uniforms and AVS vests which are issued to members of British SOF. When I discussed the kit with the men they echoed the aspirational aspects of the equipment for rapid fielding in pursuit of the Army’s Soldier 2025 efforts. The question is how the British Army will be able to quickly procure new high cut ballistic helmets and improved armor and load carriage without a requirement.

The answer seems to be SoldierWorks which promises provide the exploitation path from UK centres of experimentation, such as BattleLab, ARIEL, and the Army Warfighting Experiment.

It will act as an accelerator for modernising new soldier system capabilities by being involved from experimentation through to in-service capability.

Here are some examples of equipment the programme has facilitated:

Night vision sights for a variety of different rifles to improve the soldier’s ability to identify enemy targets earlier at night.

Binocular night vision goggles with a thermal clip-on system to enable a fused (thermal and image intensified) image.

Handheld medium-range target locator and ballistic calculator for sniper pairs

A range of improvements to combat clothing and equipment so that it fits individuals better and makes life easier for the user.

9 Responses to “DSEI 23 – British Soldier 2025”

  1. Invictus says:

    I dig the sustainment-esque pouches on the first model, along with the gloves. Any idea on manufacturer for either of those, SSD?

  2. Vince says:

    The belt kit is the standard UK Virtus load carriage system .

    The gloves look like an Iturri prototype design ( they have a habit of inspiration from oakley etc … or in this case mechanic!)

    I’d be amazed if the average British soldier is in Ops core fast and Amp, crye G4 ,AIWS, laminate load carriage , Salomons and invisio V10 in the next 2 years.

  3. Zach says:

    That utility pouch in the middle is indeed different than any I’ve seen and does not look like any I own. I would love to know more about it including size and if a collar exists.

  4. Dirk Diggler says:

    What’s with the female mannequin… cmon the push for females is really that hard? Or is it supposed to be a trans-mission person?

  5. Gabriele Molinelli says:

    One way to get the new helmet exists, actually: there is an open requirement for VIRTUS re-compete, and the tender was notable because the new VIRTUS “torso sets” are to be Built to Print following data packs supplied by the MOD, while the “head sets”, will be procured new, on the basis of a requirement.

    That’s how they start procuring the new helmet type, i guess.

  6. Dr. Blutwurst says:

    Guys in JWD will love earmuffs and plate carriers

  7. farnk says:

    I guess the Bullpup concept wasn’t the latest , greatest idea after all?