MADRID --- EADS Defence & Security Systems Spain (DS) has been awarded by the Spanish Ministry of Defence the design and development phase of the “Combatiente Futuro” (COMFUT) research and development programme.
The Spanish company, through its Defence and Communications Systems business unit, will design, develop and provide the Spanish Army with an operative section prototype – this section will be formed by 36 soldiers, divided into three squads. Beginning this year and ending in 2009, this phase of the programme will last three years. The Spanish Ministry of Defence could acquire up to 7.000 units in the future.
The Spanish Ministry of Defence has awarded a budget of EUR 24.5 million for execution of this research and development programme, originating from the programme office of the Army Infantry Academy based at Toledo and financed by the Centres and Technology Subdirectorate of the National Acquisition Division. EADS Defence & Security Systems in Spain has been appointed as prime contractor and will lead a group of Spanish sub-contractors including Elint, Fedur, GMV, Iturri and Tecnobit in the first round.
Pablo de Bergia, Head of EADS Defence & Security Systems Division in Spain, welcomed the contract award, “It is a great satisfaction for EADS Defence & Security Systems to have been selected by the Spanish Ministry of Defence to provide the Army with the most advanced technology that will guarantee the highest security and efficiency to our soldiers. With this contract the Spanish Ministry of Defence confirms once again EADS as leading company in Spain for integration of complex and multidisciplinary systems within a defence and security environment. Our role as prime contractor will position the Spanish industrial community as a leader of the European Future Soldier.”
Stefan Zoller, Member of the Executive Committee of EADS and CEO of Defence & Security Systems, commented, “Through the Defence & Security Systems Division in Spain, EADS has achieved an important step forward in the consolidation and development of our business in Spain, one of our important home markets. EADS will be ready to provide the Spanish team with the necessary support for the growth of this important programme. The selection of our COMFUT technology which is also being implemented in the German Army is a clear proof of concept and shows the superiority of the system.”
A command and control system is a core device of the Future Soldier or COMFUT that each member of the squad will have installed. A portable computer will present all the necessary information – including maps, scenario awareness, position of the squad leader and all other squad members – and objectives. The soldier will be able to send and receive any information in real time. Another primary element will be the connection between the helmet and the firearm; an integrated camera will allow the transfer of information from the firearm to the helmet screen, meaning the COMFUT will be completely aware of the environmental situation. Another specific viewfinder will be applied for night combat scenarios.
The COMFUT will also have a new bulletproof vest equipped with hi-tech elements, such radios, batteries or telemeters, and endurance modules. The backpack integrated in the vest will offer the soldier superior agility.The COMFUT will be provided with a special suit that guarantees a reduction of his infrared track and enhances the superiority of the soldier at low visibility conditions. This suit will offer high comfort and thermal stability.
Defence and Communications Systems is the “Systems House” of EADS and is an integrated part of the Defence & Security Systems Division. With revenues of about EUR 5.6 billion in 2005 and roughly 23,000 employees across nine nations, EADS Defence & Security Systems Division (DS) forms the defence and security pillar within EADS. EADS is a global leader in aerospace, defence and related services. In 2005, EADS generated revenues of EUR 34.2 billion and employed a workforce of about 113,000.