"Canada’s soldiers of tomorrow could have assault rifles that are lighter, share pictures and come with a central power source to charge high-tech sighting, magnification, laser aimers and grenade launchers.
They may also have vibrating vests to give directional cues about the enemy, goggles that project information onto their retinas, digital maps on hand-held computers and radar that can see through walls.
And new uniforms could include tourniquet bandages and anti-microbial drugs, as well as built-in protection from chemical and biological weapons in sensitive areas where soldiers sweat.
These are some of the concepts Ottawa is spending a fortune on to make Canadian soldiers more lethal.
It issued a tender Wednesday worth about $4.75 million for what the military calls human factors engineering support. The three-year contract is meant to usher several high-tech projects worth well over $1 billion from the lab to the battlefield.
"Canadian soldier modernization efforts to date have resulted in dramatic improvements in the areas of soldier survivability, mobility and sustainability," says the tender. "Further efforts are now underway to achieve significant improvements in soldier lethality."
The tender goes on to say the military is also working toward improving the way army commanders control and communicate with their troops and gather intelligence. The aim is to produce new equipment for soldiers between now and 2020.
"All of these projects are within the time frame of the Army of Tomorrow," says the tender.
The work is meant to apply knowledge of soldiers’ abilities and limitations to the design of weapons and other gear, said Maj. Linda Bossi, an ergonomics expert at Defence Research and Development Canada.
"If you don’t do this, it may work in the lab, but it won’t work in the mud," Maj. Bossi said in an interview Wednesday.
Possible new gear includes vibrating vests to give soldiers directional cues about the enemy, goggles that project information onto their retinas, digital maps on hand-held computers and radar that can see through walls." (Continued via TheChronicleHerald.ca) [Ergonomics Resources]