Infantry-21: Land Warrior’s Reviews – And Resurrection?
In the Pentagon’s April 2007 Selected Acquisition Report, the US Army’s $4 billion “Infantry-21” program – Land Warrior – lists as terminated. Which is true; Federal Computing Weekly has more. Noah Shachtman at WIRED’s Danger Room added that the soldiers weren’t that crazy about it, anyway:
“But as Alpha kicks in doors, rounds up terror suspects and peals off automatic fire in deafening six-shot bursts, not one of the soldiers bothers to check his radio or look into the eyepiece to find his buddies on the electronic maps. “It’s just a bunch of stuff we don’t use, taking the place of useful stuff like guns,” says Sgt. James Young, who leads a team of four M-240 machine-gunners perched on a balcony during this training exercise at Fort Lewis, Wash. “It makes you a slower, heavier target.”
Land Warrior was deployed to Iraq anyway in a slimmed down version, with the 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team’s 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Infantry Division based in Fort Lewis, WA. Now, it appears that the program is set to return, in modified form…
Contracts and Developments
Sept 10/07: General Dynamics C4 Systems in Scottsdale, AZ receives a $34.2 million firm fixed price contract, funding a 12-month effort to deliver a Brigade-set of Land Warrior ensembles and vehicle integration kits to the 5th Brigade 2nd Infantry Division Stryker Brigade Combat Team (5/2 SBCT) based in Ft Lewis, WA. Work will be performed in Scottsdale, AZ with an estimated completion date of Sept 5/09. One bid was solicited and one bid was received by the CECOM Acquisitions Center in Fort Monmouth, NJ (W15P7T-08-C-A-011).
The slimmer Land Warrior system funded by this order now weighs 7.2 pounds, down from approximately 17 pounds in 2006. Items provided include built-in text messaging capabilities; maps and imagery that can be changed by leaders while on-the-move; virtual ‘chem-lights’ that identify known enemy locations; and acoustic sniper detection. See also General Dynamics release.
Aug 3/07: DefenseTech’s “Land Warrior Battle Brief” article by Christian Lowe claims that Land Warrior’s usefulness is becoming more apparent in Iraq – or at least, a slimmed-down version of it is.
June 2007: Could Land Warrior be resurrected by the US Senate anyway? Danger Room wonders, but reading the FCW coverage, it seems more likely that these funds will be used to support the 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment’s deployment in Iraq from in April 2007 onward. Any technologies that prove successful in combat may end up in in Future Combat Systems’ “Future Force Warrior” program at some point.
- DID – Slimmer, Trimmer US Army Land Warrior System Moves Ahead
- Popular Mechanics (May 2007) – The Army’s New Land Warrior Gear: Why Soldiers Don’t Like It