Survivability of individual soldiers and small operational groups for the future battlefield and for operations other than war (OOTW) will require advances across a wide spectrum of capabilities. These include ballistic protection, CBW protection, signature reduction, as well as enhanced capabilities for delivering provisions and electrical power for the soldier system. The suite of underlying technologies is also diverse, ranging from textiles (a special case is biotechnologically derived materials such as spider silk or bioceramics for body armor) to advanced fuel cells and batteries. Requirements for electrical power for individual soldier equipment vary with primary (disposable) cells being of interest for battle, and rechargeable (such as nickel-metal hydride) having a key role in training, currently a major consumer of batteries.
Individual survivability includes all material and combat clothing systems for protection of the individual warfighter. Areas of particular interest are individual ballistic protection, countermeasures to sensors, laser eye protection, multifunction materials, and warrior performance and endurance enhancements.
Cooperative opportunities in individual survivability relate primarily to improved soldier systems. The soldier system focuses on enhancing soldier capabilities in the five areas of lethality, command and control (C2), survivability, sustainability, and mobility. This encompasses everything the soldier wears, carries, and consumes in a tactical environment. France has special expertise in ballistic protection for individual soldiers. The U.K. has strong capabilities in the physiological and psychological aspects of soldier systems. Germany and Canada both have strong capabilities in materials and soldier system integration. In addition, a niche capability in individual microclimate control has been identified in Australia.
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