The Canadian Government has awarded a contract to Rheinmetall Canada for development of a portable power source for use by the country's deployed troops.
The competitively procured contract has a maximum value of $1.6m spread over the next 18 months, and also includes additional options that can be exercised for further developmental work.
Under the contract, Rheinmetall will conduct research and manufacture a low-weight, energy-efficient power source prototype, which can be worn by the deployed troops to easily plug their equipment while on-the-move.
Canadian National defence minister Peter MacKay said the government was continuously providing troops with specific tools required for conducting operations in dangerous and challenging environments.
"Undertaking research into this kind of technology supports the ability of our soldiers to carry out their missions more effectively and provides Canadian industry with an opportunity to work with government," MacKay added.
Canadian public works and government services minister Rona Ambrose said: "With this contract, our government is using Canadian expertise to provide our men and women in uniform with innovative and advanced equipment required for their work in the field."
Work under the contract is scheduled to be carried out jointly with the Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC) using domestically developed products and services.
Around 15 batteries, each weighing an estimated 5kg, are currently carried by Canadian Forces to operate portable systems, leading to increased soldier fatigue in the battlefield.