The Spanish Future Soldier System ComFut (Combatiente del Futuro) is nearing the finishing line. In March, EADS Defence & Security (DS) in Spain delivered 36 equipment sets to the Spanish Army as specified in the Design and Development (D+D) contract signed with the Ministry of Defence.
These sets have been used to train the first 25 soldiers from the Academía de Infantería (Infantry Academy) on the ComFut system. The soldiers carried out user tests in flat and mountainous terrain from 12 to 14 April. The system evaluation trials will continue in Toledo until its final validation at the end of June.
Enrique Barrientos, the CEO of DS in Spain, commented: “The tests being carried out are of fundamental importance, as they will enable us to make final adjustments to the system so that it meets the Spanish Army’s requirements. Our objective is to equip future soldiers with technological innovations that will enhance their safety, efficiency and mobility as well as enabling them to perform their missions in a modern environment of networked operations.”
ComFut is divided into seven subsystems: weaponry, power supply, firing efficiency, information & communication, survivability, sustainability and preparation.
The system was designed and developed using lighter and more resistant state-of-the-art materials for ballistic protection in the helmet and the bullet-proof vest. Likewise, new textile materials help to reduce infrared (IR) and thermal signatures, improve camouflage and provide better protection against Nuclear, Biological, Chemical and Radiological (NBCR) attacks.
The information & communication subsystem comprises a radio terminal and a ruggedised PDA-type wireless laptop computer. The radio incorporates a GPS tracking function and is designed to handle voice and data transmission. This facilitates communication between members of the squad and connects them with the higher command levels. The cordless PDA provides soldiers with information on the positions of any allied and enemy troops that have been located and the direction in which they are moving. It permits the transmission and reception of messages, alerts, mission data and so on. All these elements significantly improve the soldiers’ protection.
The firing efficiency subsystem is an optronic weapon system that improves the soldier's capacity to detect the enemy thanks to equipment such as a thermal camera, laser pointers and image intensifiers. The weapon sensors are integrated via a wireless connection with a visor mounted on the helmet. This is essential in ensuring the soldier’s safety, as it enables him to aim and fire from behind cover without having to show himself.
ComFut transforms soldiers into intelligence sensors and target acquisition organisms who are fully integrated in the military command and control structure.
EADS Defence & Security (DS) is a systems solutions provider for armed forces and civil security worldwide. Its portfolio ranges from sensors and secure networks through missiles to aircraft and UAVs as well as global security, service and support solutions. In 2009, DS – with around 21,000 employees – achieved revenues of EUR 5.4 billion. EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2009, EADS generated revenues of EUR 42.8 billion and employed a workforce of about 119,000.