Future Soldier Roundup

Gizmodo has a nice pictorial roundup of Future Soldier programs from around the world. Its not a comprehensive list, its missing a number of countries, such as the recently announced Sudanese program we blogged about a few weeks ago, but its worth taking a look. The photo above is of Spanish troops participating in the Combatiente Futuro (COMFUT) program.

Many thanks to Torrin for the link.

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • JumpIf NotZero

    Well of course you’re going to need future war in order to justify your future soldiers!

  • Mack

    those rifles look very heavy and look like they take away any and all maneuverability!

    • The Hun

      The kind of technology used now breaks down in no time without a massive amount of maintenance and support(F22 needs 35 hours of repair-$44k an hour- for 1 hour of flight time)not to mention the quick energy drains to keep it all powered up.

      • S O

        F-4 Phantom II’s already needed 30 maintenance man-hours per flying hour in the 60’s. Twin engine combat aircraft are like that (Mirage III required 15 at the time). Old German Phantom II’s already required 50 hours in the 90’s because of old age and a new radar (APG-65, same as early F/A-18s had).

        • The Hun

          F16s require only 16 hours while the F22 was promised by the manufacturer to need less than 10 hours- it actually needs 3.5X that. So while the average family in the US earns $44K ( =1 hour of F22 maintenance time) it takes $1.54M to keep an F22 up in the air for 1 measly hour.

          • S O

            Hardly. The cost per flying hour isn’t this extreme. It’s more like 44k/flying hour than 44k/maintenance hour.

  • AnoSynum

    That list is atrocious. Not only does it show different programs at different times in their development, several pictures don’t show any Future Soldier system at all (e.g. the first German “system”, two or so of the Norwegian “system”).

    • Mr Mxyzptlk

      Along with the British “FIST” ones, all of which just show the standard equipment that is currently being used in Afghanistan and are not related to the FIST system in any way.

    • Patrick Mingle

      Yea that bugged me too

  • iksnilol

    Looks heavy to me. Gives the phrase “heavy metal” a new meaning in regard to firearms.

  • BattleshipGrey

    According to the pics, for the big technology push, Russia gets RDSs and Norway gets RDSs and NV, not sure what the UK gets. Everyone else gets cool map pads and HUDs.

  • The Hun

    “World War 4 will be fough with sticks and stones”- Albert Einstein

  • S O

    My list from 2009:


    Australia – “Land 125” ak.a. “Soldier Combat System” a.k.a. “Wudurra”

    Belgium – “BEST”

    Canada – “Integrated Protective Clothing and Equipment” (IPCE), “Integrated Soldier Systems Project” (ISSP)

    Czech Republic – “21st Century Soldier”

    EDA (multinational) – “21st Century Soldier System”

    France – “Fantassin à Équipements et Liaisons Intégrés” (Félin) “, “Systéme Combatant” (SC) 2005

    Germany – “Infanterist der Zukunft”(IdZ)

    India – “F-INSAS”

    Israel – “ANOG”, Integrated Infantry Combat Systems (IICS) a.k.a. “Dominator”

    Italy – “Soldato Futuro”

    NATO (multinational) – “NATO Soldier Modernization Plan”

    Netherlands – VOSS (~Improved Operational Soldier System), “Soldier Modernisation Program” (SMP)

    Norway – “NORMANS”(Norwegian Modular Arctic Network Soldier)

    Poland – “Tytan”

    Romania – “Romanian Individual Fighting System” (RIFS)

    Russia “- ~”Project Wolf” a.k.a. ~”Soldier 2000″

    Singapore – “Advanced Combatant Man System” (ACMS)

    Slovenia – “Warrior of the 21st Century”

    South Africa – “ANOG”, “African Warrior”

    Spain – “Combatiente Futuro” (Comfut)

    Sweden – “MARKUS”

    Switzerland “IMESS”

    United Kingdom – “Future Integrated Soldier Technology” (FIST)

    United States – Army: “Future Soldier”, “Future Force Warrior”
    (FFW, succeeded by Future Soldier), “Objective Force Warrrior” (OFW,
    succeeded by FFW), Marines: “Marine Expeditionary Rifle Squad”

    • LCON

      Add to that list the Chinese Digital integration program and the Japanese ACES replace wolf with Ratnik and land warrior with Nett warrior

      • S O

        Maybe next time. This post was from almost five years ago…

  • ColaBox

    How about the Russians go by Bodark instead of Ratnik? Were talking future soldier here c’mon.

    • iksnilol

      “Ratnik” is cooler, it means “warrior”.

    • LCON

      Playing Ghost Recon Future soldier are we?

      Bodark being stated as Men Who become Wolves

  • Lance

    Yeah they predict these will be adopted and guess what they many time are NOT. Its a wait and see stop using the stupid crystal ball tactic here.

    • The Hun

      Who cares- the US taxpayer picks up the tab for all of this Buck Rogers weaponry R&D

  • Christopher

    Future Soldiers hah! Not with equipment and firearms from the 20th century. The OICW itself was just a G36 with heavy additions made to it.

  • None

    Sol-DI-er. Not Sol-ID-er. PLEASE get your game up when it comes to grammar, TFB… Quality blog deserves quality writing.

  • j

    I don’t like any of them. They’re just too complicated

  • 1911a145acp

    All that high tech gear and they can’t spell S-o-l-i-d-e-r..

  • 101nomad

    A light rifle is not light with 15# of bells and whistles hanging on it.

  • Kyle

    The sudanese system looks outdated also one of them have the eye cover on their right eye while holding the type 97 in the right hand so they cannot aim down the sights on the rifle with ease. Seems like a big design flaw to me compared to the Swiss system where the display looks reversible to either eye in the event of injury or changing position for going around different corners. Also it looks like the swiss system has controls for the thermal optic on the foregrip so you don’t have to get off your sight picture to change the optics setting.

    Considering the other options I would even take the bulky spanish system over the sudanese system that does not even use a vest that matches the camouflage they are wearing. If they get even get matching vest for the camouflage they are wearing what does that tell you about the electronic? Most likely dated and inefficient in both function and battery life ( the sudan is not known for its electronics industry,optics or industry in general).Also the huge antenna on the waste seems like a huge obstacle that could distract others in the units when they are walking in a formation and the antennas are whacking the guy behind them when it is not obstructing or distracting their aim. Also the antenna seems to go over their helmet in height so much for not raising attention (even more so than the mismatched camouflage).

  • n0truscotsman

    Yet not a single country has “lightened” their soldier’s load.

    Not a single one.

    I see a epidemic of stupidity.

    • Agreed.

      One of the problems with all of these “future” systems is that electronics and optics are delicate. You either have to armor the hell out of them, which makes them unreasonably heavy (on top of the obscene weight of the batteries) or you have to deal with proximity soft-kills taking out all of your fancy equipment. And really, there are severe limits to how much you can protect optics no matter how much weight you are willing to accept.

      If the soldiers depend on the fancy equipment, then they will stop functioning without it. If you train them to not need it, it’s often better to just leave the stuff behind in the first place. On the other hand, there are specific maybe squad-to-platoon-level engagements where a very high integration of information is *extremely* useful, where individuals or quads have to be very precisely placed, and where specific expertise being remotely brought to bear is a win. (It may beat your computer tech having to armor up and go in with the strike; or at least, having remote telemetry may mean they have a much better idea of where to go in the second wave so they end up where they are *actually* needed.)

      • n0truscotsman

        I think of equipment and the soldier as another victim of a principle similar to the Jevons paradox.

        As equipment becomes more efficient (lighter weight, more compact, less bulky), commanders use the opportunity of less pounds to add more equipment to make up for the difference. That has been a consistent pattern since world war II.