The Malaysian Army took the opportunity at the Defence Services Asia (DSA) 2018 exhibition in Kuala Lumpur to highlight its Future Soldier System (FSS), an element of the Malaysian Armed Forces’ (MAF’s) wider Network Centric Operations (NCO) programme.
The FSS comprises a wearable computer mounted in a backpack, a tactical display unit (TDU), a head mounted monocular display, personal role radio (PRR), remote control unit (RCU), central energy unit, and a head mounted video camera. The system – which is integrated via physical cables as opposed to wireless connection – has been developed by Malaysian company Sapura Defence.
The TDU is a chest-mounted android tablet, displaying a cut-down version of Sapura’s battle management software. According to an army representative the central battery pack will provide four hours of operation with all the peripherals running, but this can be extended to eight hours if communications are restricted to voice only. The batteries are hot swappable and can be recharged when the soldier is travelling in an armoured vehicle.
The PRR is the internet protocol (IP)-based Thales ST@R Mille UHF software soldier radio, which weighs less than 380 g without a battery, operates in the 310–470 MHz frequency band and has a range of more than 1.5 km in open terrain. It has an embedded global positioning system (GPS) and provides simultaneous voice, data, and tracking information. The system can be linked to other networks, including 3G communications and recently-acquired X-band mobile satellite communications system.
The core of the assembly is the backpack computer, which can be accessed via the RCU. The army representative told Jane’s that the RCU also enables the user to operate the radio and camera, as well as control the flow of imagery over different communications systems.
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