Sagem has been awarded a contract to upgrade the French Army's Fantassin à Equipements et Liaisons Intégrés (FELIN) integrated soldier system.
Awarded by the French Defence Procurement Agency (DGA), the contract requires the company to update the existing FELIN systems to the FELIN V1.3 configuration, designed to optimise the system's observation and combat functions.
the contract covers software upgrades that will offer new services for specialised sharpshooter and mortar support units, a new carrying structure, as well as lighter and more modular protective gear, improving soldier mobility while decreasing their visual signature.
In addition, platoon and unit leaders will be outfitted with a combat vest optimised for use of the battle management system, SitComdé tactical terminal, during dismounted combat.
Based on feedback provided by the French soldiers in recent theatres of operation, the upgrades are expected to reduce the FELIN's specified weight by up to 40%, while maintaining the protection required for army missions.
The FELIN V1.3 upgrades are scheduled to be delivered to the French Army as part of production versions from early 2016.
Built by Sagem, FELIN is a high-tech integrated infantry suite designed to augment dismounted soldier's capabilities in terms of firing precision, day/night combat, intelligence, and individual and collective self-protection.
Comprising a modified FAMAS rifle and a host of other electronics, clothing, pouches, and body armour, the system offers enhanced protection, observation, command, control, computers, communications and intelligence, weapons use, as well as mobility and support.
According to the 2014 to 2019 defence programme law, a total of 18,552 FELIN systems are scheduled to be handed over to the French Army.
In 2014, the company fully outfitted 17 regiments with the FELIN system in Afghanistan and African theatres of operation.
Image: A soldier wearing a FÉLIN suit linked to a modified FAMAS assault rifle. Photo: Copyright 2005 David Monniaux.