US: Reportlinker.com has released a new market research report called ‘The Global Soldier Modernization Market 2014-2024’. The report is the result of SDI's extensive market and company research covering the global soldier modernization industry. It provides detailed analysis of both historic and forecast global industry values, factors influencing demand and the challenges faced by industry participants. The soldier modernization market is going through rapid technological developments with major innovations in the fields of networked soldier technology and future soldier outfit modernization. The defense procurement agencies of various countries are constantly updating the various manufacturers on potential future requirements in fields of lethality, survivability, C4ISR, sustainability and mobility. This makes it absolutely essential for the leading military nations of the world to routinely invest in science and technology as well as research and development in order to ensure they maintain their technological edge.
Reducing the weight of soldier equipment without compromising protection and combat performance is a key challenge for the soldier modernization industry. Modernization of soldier systems to protect, mobilize and empower the soldier has resulted in an exponential increase in the total weight being carried. The combined weight of equipment prevents them from being agile, mobile and effective war fighters and lives of soldiers are being put at risk as heavy lifesaving equipment is often being left behind. Defense agencies worldwide are focusing on sourcing and integrating the most affordable, lightweight soldier equipment and technology to reduce the burden to personnel. For example, the US, through its Nett Warrior programme, is making substantial progress in lightening the soldiers load while still delivering next generation capabilities. The report reveals that the UK defense ministry plans to reduce the load on soldiers from 70 kg to not more than 25 kg under the Reducing the Burden on the Dismounted Soldier (RBDS) programme. Furthermore, the defense ministries are funding research and development projects which focus on reducing the weight of equipment, power and communication systems that soldiers carry. All the capability areas such as lethality – soldier's weapons and ammunition; survivability and mobility – body armor, clothing, helmet and equipment; C4ISR – radios, wearable computers and optics have to be integrated to reduce the weight. The fact that in a 36 hour patrol, the British soldier will end up with a 12.25kg weight solely in power, suggests the potential for reducing the weight of power systems that the soldier carries.