Increasing the operational efficiency of the smaller units by enhancing and integrating the main capacity areas of the dismounted fighter: lethality, survival, Command and Control, mobility and autonomy.
This increase was the result of the NATO orientations in the sector, in order to give the individual fighters and the units a complete interoperability both inter-forces and multinational employment contexts.
The development of innovative individual equipment, completely integrated, led to the realization of a "soldier system": it is based on the synergy man-equipment and is suitable for carrying out the tasks arising from changes in the international scenario. The system is characterized by modularity, flexibility and expandability so that it is efficaciously configurable according to the different employment situations and gradually upgradeable in view of technologic innovations in different sectors. Its integration in the mechanized Command and Control system will allow to involve the units in the digitalization process of the new operational contexts.
The multi-year Research and Development Program concerns the creation of three prototypes of the system "Future Soldier" in the figures of "Commander", "Rifleman" and "Grenadier Rifleman" (with grenade launcher).
Since 2007 the prototypes have been subjected to technical tests and later to functionality operational test at the Infantry School of CESANO. Moreover, in order to evaluate suitably the results of the Research and Development "Future Soldier "program, it has been started the provision of 92 prototypes pre-series of the system "Future Soldier", among which 19 as "Commander", 57 as "Rifleman" and 16 as "Grenadier Rifleman".
The first 30 pre-series systems will be soon given to the Armed Force.
The "Future Soldier" aims to increase the efficiency of the five main capacity areas. In particular:
a. The increase of the practicality arises from the new technologies that concern weapons and munitions as well as the tools for the target acquisition, the blast control, the communication and the information management. The individual weapon is a 5.56 mm caliber weapon that can mount a 40mm grenade launcher and it supports a multi-function module for the target acquisition and the management of efficient, selective and targeted blast (night and day). The weapon includes a thermal camera along with a TV camera that operate on the same channel and a pointing optical sight with three enlargements, a pointing sight for the instinctive shooting and two laser sights (one for the visible range and one for the infrared range. The data can be exported wirelessly.
b. The survival is increased thanks to the integration of the technologies that ensure the protection against the threats of the modern operational scenario. In this context some protection equipment has been developed: ballistic, anti-NBC, anti-laser, climatic, protection from blast and observation.
c. The Command and Control systems have been strengthened by integrating and developing the communication systems along with the sensors, in order to improve the global perception that the fighter has of the situation and his ability to act effectively. The system has got specific data submitters, a personal computer, a GPS and a radio. The "Future Soldier" program is integrated in the other digitalization components of the manoeuvre space (SIACCON and SICCONA).
d. The autonomy has been improved by using innovative materials, especially in the electric power system.
e. The mobility has been increased by optimizing the ergonomics of the materials, the equipment weight and the optimization of the transported load. Moreover, it has been intensified the movement ability of the soldier in nightscape as well as the consciousness of the situation.