General Dynamics (GD) Canada is partnering with Colt Canada to improve data-exchange systems with dismounted soldiers.
The companies will integrate the variable message format (VMF) interface into the soldier weapon and observer reconnaissance devices (SWORD) system.
This is designed to improve compatibility with higher-level command and control (C2) systems, including Canada's Land Command Support System (LCSS).
The SWORD system links weapon-mounted surveillance and targeting devices with ruggedised smartphone technology, which sends critical situational-awareness information directly to the soldier through their weapon.
General Dynamics C4 Systems International vice-president David Ibbetson said: "Systems like SWORD must be linked to higher-level command and control systems for overall operational effectiveness and the individual safety of dismounted soldiers.
"VMF is a standard method that has been adopted by several nations, including Canada, to provide critical information directly to soldiers, ensuring servicemen and women are always connected and equipped for what lies ahead."
Colt Canada general manager Jeff MacLeod said: "Using smartphone capability to connect to higher-level command and control systems provides soldiers with the information they need to conduct their missions successfully and safely."
The SWORD system features power, data and navigation infrastructure within the weapon, including GPS and inertial navigation for GPS-denied situations.
The display of SWORD at the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI) CANSEC show is scheduled for 28-29 May in Ottawa, Canada.