By the end of November 2012, France’s defence procurement agency, Direction Générale de l’Armaments (DGA) had taken delivery of 10,170 FELIN (Fantassin à équipements et liaisons intégrés) individual soldier equipment kits, allowing it to fit out a tenth infantry regiment in early 2013.
Implementation of the FELIN program involves a network of French high-tech companies including prime contractor Sagem, Nexter, Thales, Renault Trucks Defense, ELNO, MSA Gallet and others.
FELIN systems are assembled at Sagem production sites at Poitiers (Vienne district) and Fougeres (Ille-et-Vilaine district).
By 2015, ten additional regiments are expected to be equipped with FELIN, at the rate of four per year.
FELIN significantly improves individual infantrymen’s protection and their ability to observe, communicate and use their weapons, as well as enhancing their mobility and improving the support of warfighters in direct contact with the opponent.
The equipment suite includes protective vest, combat uniform, NBC protective clothing, day and night-capable firing sights and observation equipment, individual radio, and information-sharing equipment, as well as individual and squad weapons.
FELIN provides a quantum leap in terms of operational effectiveness and ballistic protection of combat troops, as confirmed by its initial deployments on operational theaters. The weapon sights, completely redesigned, make it easier to neutralize enemy combatants by day and night; and the effective range of the FAMAS automatic rifle is substantially extended.
FELIN also greatly enhances infantrymen’s ability to deploy and fight thanks to its increased observation and geolocation capabilities. Finally, FELIN’s information system facilitates the integration of battle groups in the digital chain of command. It gives infantrymen a real network-enabled combat capability.