Saturday, September 6, 2008

Land Warrior

In today's papers, Singapore has its very own Urban Warrior wearing the new camouflage uniform and all his high tech gear, including the SAR-21. The uniform reminds one of the USMC's MARPAT MCCUU. CPT Arthur Fenton wore the same BDUs too. And why not? Why fix something that ain't broken?

As for the high tech gear, GI Joe released this Land Warrior Joe back in 1999 as a 35-year commemorative pack comparing the first GI Joe released in 1964 to the modern warrior in 1999 - "GI Joe Then and Now". It showcases the advancements made in warfare technology from the 60s to the late 90s. The Land Warrior program was already being tested then.

The US Army's Land Warrior program is still being tweaked today (as shown in one of the episodes of National Geographic's Future Weapons Season 2) as part of the Stryker Brigade Combat Team (SBCT), alongside the Stryker family of light armored vehicles. Obviously the BDUs have changed but the basic technology employed then is still applicable today and has also been adopted by the Singapore Army for its Urban Warrior.

The Land Warrior GI Joe wears the Kevlar PASGT (Personal Armor System Ground Troop) helmet with head-mounted display which is linked to a computer backpack with C/RS (Communication/Radio & Sensory) System with a Touch/Sensor Terminal. This puts the soldier in constant contact with his commanders, fellow soldiers and GPS satellites.

His weapon is mounted with a night-vision capable video camera that allows him to take and transmit pictures as well as observe the enemy without putting himself in harm's way. It also has the standard AN/PAS-13 thermal sight and laser range-finder.

His backpack computer with C/RS (Communication/Radio & Sensory) System is connected to his helmet's head-mounted display, his Touch/Sensor Terminal and his weapon mounted with a video camera.

One of the major problems the US Army faced as the Land Warrior program matured was -  guess what? BATTERIES. The need to continuously resupply (or recharge) the batteries was proving to be a major logistical challenge. All that technology and they can't run it without BATTERIES - quite hilarious. That's why the program was integrated with the Stryker ground vehicle systems. This approach would enable more batteries to be distributed and/or recharged when needed.


naicon said...

Why would Singpore soldiers need equipment of this high calibre? Is it to keep 1/6 customizers with new ideas?

Carrying 8kg of items you'll be 1 inch shorter by the end of the day! Lol

alex teo said...

Hi Nai, welcome back :) Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) wants to keep abreast of technology, learn from its allies and apply the same to its soldiers so that the SAF can remain updated and not outdated. Our army is now 3G enabled and quite modernised. This acts as a deterent and ensures continued confidence in the country's stability and economy. In this modern era where most wars are fought in urban areas (just like in Iraq now), technology is key to survivability. That and the fact that terrorists know no borders and can strike anytime, especially if you are not alert. Bali got hit twice (and everybody thought lightning seldom strikes the same place two times).

Of course if customizers were able to custom-make the SAR-21, that'll be GREAT news indeed for collectors like moi :)

Thanks for looking

Anonymous said...

Anyone know what kind of camouflage pattern that is?