Annex E. International Armaments Strategy
Army Science and Technology Master Plan (ASTMP 1997)

E. Individual Survivability and Sustainability

Survivability and sustainability of individual soldiers and small operational groups for the future battlefield and for operations other than war (OOTW) will require advances across a wide spectrum of capabilities. These include ballistic protection, CBW protection, signature reduction, as well as enhanced capabilities for delivering provisions and electrical power for the so-called soldier system. The suite of underlying technologies is comparably diverse, ranging from textiles (with a special case being biotechnologically derived materials such as spider silk or bioceramics for body armor) to advanced fuel cells and batteries. Requirements for electrical power for individual soldier equipment vary with primary (disposable) cells being of interest for actual battle, and rechargeables (such as nickel-metal hydride) having a key role in training, currently a major consumer of batteries.

Table E.II-4 below summarizes key capabilities and trends. Cooperative opportunities in soldier systems and electrical power sources are most likely to be found with France, the UK, and Germany. Canada also has a program and niche capabilities in soldier systems. Japan has significant capabilities in biomaterials and in electrical power sources. Russia is also a world leader in certain types of batteries. A niche capability in individual microclimate control has been identified with Australia.


Table E.II-4. Individual Survivability and Sustainability

INDIVIDUAL SURVIVABILITY Soldier systems (physiological and psychological) Soldier systems (Ballistic protection) Soldier systems Canada Soldier systems   Australia Soldier systems (microclimate control)  
SUSTAINABILITY   Batteries for man-portable systems Fossil fuel- driven electrical power   Electrical power for man-portable systems   Russia Batteries for man-portable systems

A key area for soldier systems will continue to be man-portable electrical power. Here Japan is a world leader in secondary batteries, fuel cells, and small gasoline engines followed closely by France and Russia in selected aspects of secondary batteries. Germany is also identified as having world class capability in miniature fossil fuel engines for portable electrical power.

The ASTMP Chapter IV.F includes milestones for achieving 20% reductions in the weight of individual protective suits, and for reducing the thermal signature of individual soldiers. There also is a continuing requirement for more efficient sources of portable electrical power.

The following highlight specific areas where existing or near-term pending agreements offer significant opportunities for advances in individual soldier systems and batteries and fuel cells for electrical portable power.