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Army Gear Update: What's Headed Your Way

The modular Soldier Protection System (SPS) consists of five subsystems: Vital Torso Protection (VTP), Torso and Extremity Protection (TEP), Integrated Head Protection System (IHPS), Transition Combat Eye Protection (TCEP), and Integrated Soldier Sensor System (ISSS).

The modular Soldier Protection System (SPS) consists of five subsystems: Vital Torso Protection (VTP), Torso and Extremity Protection (TEP), Integrated Head Protection System (IHPS), Transition Combat Eye Protection (TCEP), and Integrated Soldier Sensor System (ISSS).

A soldier from the 2nd Battalion, 319th Field Artillery Regiment, sets up the Joint Effects Targeting System after the system was air dropped at Fort Bragg, N.C. (Army)

A soldier from the 2nd Battalion, 319th Field Artillery Regiment, sets up the Joint Effects Targeting System after the system was air dropped at Fort Bragg, N.C. (Army)

Soldiers use Net Warrior devices and Rifleman Radios along with a Manpack Radio (AN/PRC-155 software defined radio) serving as a bridge to connect to the network backbone. (Army USAASC)

Soldiers use Net Warrior devices and Rifleman Radios use a Manpack Radio (AN/PRC-155 software defined radio) as a bridge to connect to the network backbone. (Army USAASC)

A soldier aims an XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement weapon system at Aberdeen Test Center, Md. (Army)

A soldier aims an XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement weapon system at Aberdeen Test Center, Md. (Army)

November 6, 2017 | Source: Army Times, armytimes.com, 8 October 2017, Todd South

Here are some updates on just a few of the soldier-centric projects being developed and fielded by Program Executive Officer Soldier from the unit commander, Brig. Gen. Brian P. Cummings, and his staff.

  1. Leaner, better fitting body armor - the Modular Scalable Vest (MSV).  The Soldier Protection System (SPS) is the Army’s next generation Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) system. SPS is a modular, scalable, tailorable system designed to defeat current threats at a reduced weight in comparison to the Army’s existing PPE. The SPS is based on the parallel development of five subsystems: Vital Torso Protection (VTP), Torso and Extremity Protection (TEP), Integrated Head Protection System (IHPS), Transition Combat Eye Protection (TCEP), and Integrated Soldier Sensor System (ISSS).  The TEP is comprised of multiple components to include the Modular Scalable Vest (MSV), the Ballistic Combat Shirt (BCS), the Blast Pelvic Protector (BPP) and the Load Distribution System (LDS).  More information can be found at, http://asc.army.mil/web/portfolio-item/soldier-protection-system-sps/.
  2. Saving your melon - the Integrated Head Protection System (IHPS). The IHPS will include a 5 percent-lighter-weight helmet system comprised of helmet/maxillofacial and passive hearing protection with increased blunt impact performance.  More information can be found at, http://asc.army.mil/web/portfolio-item/soldier-protection-system-sps/.
  3. Shooting from the hip - the XM17 or Modular Handgun System (MHS).  Come November, the XM17 handgun, will drop the "X," which designates it as "experimental" and will instead be called the M17.  At that time, the Army is expected to reach a conditional material release for the MHS, and will issue some 2,000 of the pistols to the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Kentucky. The "Screaming Eagles" will be the first in a long line of units to receive the new 9mm pistol, which is meant as a replacement for the existing M9, which is quickly approaching the end of its useful service life. Also among the first to receive the new pistol will be the 3rd Cavalry Regiment at Fort Hood, Texas, as well as one of the Army's new security force assistance brigades.  More information can be found at, https://www.army.mil/article/194787/modular_handgun_to_begin_fielding_before_christmas.
  4. Targeting in all conditions - the Joint Effects Targeting System (JETS).  The JETS Target Location Designation System (TLDS) is an Army-led, Joint-interest program with the Air Force and Marine Corps to develop and field a one-man-portable, hand-held capability to rapidly acquire, precisely locate, and engage targets with precision-guided munitions, and improves the effectiveness of engagement with unguided munitions.  More information can be found at, http://asc.army.mil/web/portfolio-item/soldier-jets/.
  5. Directing battle from a smartphone - Nett Warrior (NW).  Nett Warrior (NW) is an integrated dismounted leader Situational Awareness (SA) system used during combat operations. The system provides unparalleled SA to the dismounted leader, allowing for faster and more accurate decisions in the tactical fight. With advanced navigation, SA and information-sharing capabilities, leaders are able to avoid fratricide and are more effective and lethal in the execution of their combat missions. More information can be found at, http://asc.army.mil/web/portfolio-item/soldier-nw/.
  6. Launcher, we hardly knew ya - the XM25 Counter Defilade Target Engagement (CDTE) System.  The XM25 program's goal was to provide the Soldier with a smart revolutionary weapon system that breaks the current small-arms direct-fire parity. It would dramatically increases Soldier lethality and range with a family of 25 mm programmable ammunition and enable the small unit and individual Soldier to engage defilade targets by providing a 25 mm air bursting capability that can be used in all operational environments. More information can be found at, http://asc.army.mil/web/portfolio-item/counter-defilade-target-engagement-cdte-xm25/. Although the program was cancelled this past year, the requirement to perform those battlefield functions remains, and elements of the weapon’s fire control system will likely be incorporated into some form of the Army’s replacement for the squad automatic weapon.
  7. Retro cammies, new jungle boots - the new Jungle Army Combat Uniform (ACU) and Jungle Combat Boot (JCB) version II.  The ACU and its flame-retardant variant, the Flame-Resistant Army Combat Uniform (FRACU), are the current battle uniforms worn by the U.S. Army. The ACU is also worn by some units of the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy, such as SEALs and navy sailors assigned to army units.  More information on the ACU and ACU-Alternate (ACU-A), with considerations for the female form, can be found in the PEO-Soldier portfolio pgs 17-18, http://www.peosoldier.army.mil/equipment/portfolio/.  Additional information on changes to the ACU can be found, https://www.army.mil/e2/c/downloads/396739.pdf.  Additional information on the ACU-A can be found at, http://asc.army.mil/web/acu-alternate-uniform-offers-more-fit-options/.  The JCB is a replacement for the standard-issue combat boot that fills the critical gap of meeting the Soldiers' requirements of prolonged wear in tropical jungle environments.  It is comfortable, lightweight, fast drying and breathable footwear made of material that doesn't absorb or hold water. The boot offers puncture protection, traction, durability, cushioning, and support.  More information on the JCB can be found at, https://www.army.mil/standto/2017-03-15 and https://www.army.mil/article/183541.