General Dynamics to supply Stryker Brigade with next-gen combat system

The load that soldiers in one Stryker Brigade Combat team will be carrying into battle just got lighter. The soldiers of the 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division Stryker Brigade Combat Team will strap on a new, lighter version of the Land Warrior fighting system based on technology from General Dynamics C4 Systems.

The Scottsdale, Ariz.-based General Dynamics unit said Sept. 10 that it won a $70 million contract from the Army to outfit the brigade with a set of land warrior packs for each soldier and kits for its vehicles. The weight of the new kits dropped nearly 10 pounds, from 17 pounds to 7.2.

Soldiers use the equipment for command, communications and computing capabilities, company officials said. The system gives soldiers better awareness and understanding of battlefield situations and thus increases their effectiveness.

Soldiers using the latest Land Warrior system will have the ability to send and receive text messages, use maps and imagery while on the move, and detect the direction of sniper fire using acoustic sensors, company officials said.

The Land Warrior System is crucial to ground troops when they operate outside of their vehicles, said Mark Showah, director of integrated systems for General Dynamics C4 Systems. "It's the cornerstone for future ground warfighter systems," he said.

Changes in size and weight embodied in the latest generation of the Land Warrior System are the direct result of feedback from soldiers who used the earlier versions. Land Warrior was previously deployed to Iraq with the 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment in 2007.

General Dynamics ranks No. 6 on Washington Technology's 2008 Top 100 list of the largest federal government prime contractors.

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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