The French Directorate General of Armaments (DGA) has awarded a contract to Sagem to provide an additional 16,454 FELIN (fantassin à équipements et liaisons intégrés) digital soldier systems.

FELIN is a modular system with standardised units that provide a wide range of capabilities including enhanced observation, communications, attack, protection, mobility and support of troops in direct contact with the enemy.

The entire system includes a protective armour vest, combat clothing, day / night weapon sights, day / night observation and vision systems, communication and information systems, and individual and squad weapons.

In addition, the system provides improved ergonomics and enhanced protection against the effects of modern small-calibre weapons.

The integrated weapon sights make the system easier to neutralise opponents by day and night, while the observation and positioning capabilities of the system significantly improve flexibility and night fighting capabilities.

FELIN’s information system integrates combat units into the digital chain of command which will link various command levels, from commanding officer to infantryman and provides the soldier with a networked combat capability.

The contract is part of the country’s €1bn FELIN programme, which includes development, industrialisation, production and initial support. To date France has ordered 22,588 FELIN units.

The first regiment will be equipped in the second quarter of 2010 and the final regiment is scheduled for 2015.