Soldier of the future: Maps beamed to his glasses, helmet camera sending images to comrades and sensors to monitor his health
- Smart glasses to allow commanders to beam tactics, enemy positions and video from drones to mini-display
- Lightweight helmets mounted with high-resolution cameras will send battlefield images to comrades on patrol
- Wrist-worn device based on smart-watches will monitor a soldier’s health and performance during combat
- Futuristic personal radio computers with touchscreens access crucial real-time combat information
Kitted out in futuristic equipment, this is what the traditional British Army soldier will look like in 2024.
Military personnel going to war a decade from now will wear body armour, weapons and kit that could have come straight out of sci-fi movies.
Smart glasses will enable troops to see information on a small screen in front of their eye, allowing commanders to beam maps, tactics, enemy positions and video from surveillance drones to the mini-display.
Lightweight helmets mounted with high-resolution cameras will send battlefield images to comrades on patrol to warn them of potential dangers such as booby-traps and ambushes.
A wrist-worn device based on smart-watches and packed with state-of-the-art sensors will monitor a soldier’s health and performance during combat – allowing an officer to pull him from a mission if they are flagging.
It could also be used to relay crucial information to medics, such as a serviceman’s heart rate, blood pressure and oxygen flow, if they are seriously injured by bombs or bullets, which could speed up treatment and save lives.
Futuristic personal radio computers – about the size of a smartphone – with touchscreens which access crucial real-time combat information, new customised body armour which balances protection and agility, headphones that aid battlefield communications while protecting hearing could also be used by British troops deployed to warzones in the mid-2020s.
Alongside the uniform is a new version of the Army’s SA80 assault rifle featuring a technology that allows targeting information to be shared between soldiers and their units, enabling them to concentrate firepower more accurately.
The so-called Future Soldier Vision (FSV) is part of the Ministry of Defence’s plan to ensure that the next generation of British soldiers have equipment utilising the latest technologies.
The uniform was developed by the Army, the MoD’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory and defence firms Kinneir Dufort and SEA.
It was unveiled yesterday WED at DSEI, one of the world’s biggest defence and security trade shows.
One aim is to exploit new technology and materials to ensure soldiers carry a lighter load on patrol – ditching heavy batteries and cables, for instance – meaning they can be more nimble and less likely to get hurt in an enemy attack.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: ‘In an uncertain world, it is vital that we continually look at the future threats our Armed Forces might face.
‘The Future Soldier Vision, which is supported by the very best of the UK’s science and technology expertise, demonstrates our commitment to ensuring our soldiers have the kit they need to keep our country safe.’
Ross Jones, of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, said: ‘The Future Soldier Vision concept provides the MoD and industry with an aim point for what the soldier could look like a decade from now.
Concept: Soldiers going to war a decade from now will wear body armour and weapons that could have come straight out of sci-fi movies
On top: Helmets mounted with high-resolution cameras will send battlefield images to comrades on patrol to warn them of dangers
Assistance: A wrist-worn device will monitor a soldier’s health (left) and a personal radio computer will have real-time information (right)