Smartphone to hold integrated warrior gear

Jan. 30, 2013 at 10:44 AM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 30 (UPI) -- Soldiers on the battlefront will soon be able to run complex computerized warrior systems as integrated units on hand-held devices, including smartphones and tablets.

Command-and-control systems for military personnel fighting on land have long bedeviled defense strategists, planners and manufacturers. Many of the pioneering systems were unwieldy, heavy to carry and prone to failure at critical times.

The United States' recent and ongoing engagement in several conflicts has led to demand, mirrored in other armed forces elsewhere, for military gadgetry that is easy to handle, light in weight and brings together systems directed at a soldier in battle from land, air and the sea and requiring rapid response.

Within NATO forces, too, competing command and control systems continue to dominate inventories of soldiers -- something that defense leaders want to change.

QinetiQ North America says its Integrated Warrior System introduces innovative technology that will enable warfighters to manage multiple mission systems through a single end-user device, such as a smartphone, tablet or other tactical computer.

IWS increases situational awareness and improves access to critical mission resources by creating a personal area network for the Warfighter, the McLean, Va., company said.

"With IWS, the Warfighter can plug-and-play a wide variety of peripherals such as smartphones, computers, mission critical software applications, gunfire detection systems and much more through a lightweight, wearable hub," QinetiQ said.

IWS supports seamless operations by integrating data and power from diverse systems. A simplified battery power management solution ensures that each connected device can operate reliably and efficiently in remote or hostile areas.

QinetiQ called the system "ergonomic" which can be easily integrated into older vests and helmets and its universal design accommodates peripherals from multiple manufacturers.

"Modernization initiatives have sought to integrate electronics and sensors on the Warfighter ensemble without adding extra equipment and weight," QinetiQ Technology Solutions Group President J. D. Crouch said.

He called IWS "a sleek, rugged solution" that easily integrates commercial and military devices through an open architecture that is designed to support military personnel in modern security situations and warfare.

The system can be applied during operational, mission rehearsal, training and simulation phases with scalable hardware, software, accessories and systems integration support.

QNA is showing the system Wednesday at QinetiQ North America's Soldier Tech Expo at the Crystal Gateway Marriott in Arlington, Va.

QNA is a subsidiary of QinetiQ Group plc, a company listed on the London Stock Exchange with headquarters in McLean, Va., and operations across North America.

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