The French defense procurement agency DGA (Direction générale de l’armement) has announced a contract with Sagem (Safran) for "FELIN V1.3" concerning the integration of several operational improvements in the FELIN (*) infantry soldier modernization system already in service with the French army.
FELIN V1.3 will feature a new configuration designed to optimize the system’s observation and combat functions. Software upgrades will provide new services for specialized sharpshooter and mortar support units. It also offers a new carrying structure, along with lighter and more modular protective gear, thus improving soldier mobility while decreasing their visual signature.
Under certain conditions, the new version will reduce the FELIN’s specified weight by up to 40%, while maintaining the protection needed for army missions. Platoon and unit leaders will be outfitted with a combat vest optimized for use of the Battle Management System (SitComdé tactical terminal) during dismounted combat. FELIN V1.3 upgrades will be delivered as part of production versions starting in early 2016.
Based on feedback from French army troops in recent theaters of operation, these FELIN upgrades call on Sagem’s proven expertise in conducting major defense programs and designing tactical coordination systems, for applications ranging from infantry to fire support.
Sagem is prime contractor for the FELIN program. Through this upgrade project, it clearly shows its solid partnership with the DGA and armed forces, based on its ability to incorporate new services that meet increasingly demanding operational requirements and address fast-evolving infantry engagement concepts.
(*) FELIN (Fantassin à Equipements et Liaisons Intégrés) is a digital integrated equipment suite, designed to enhance dismounted warfighters’ capabilities in terms of firing precision, day/night combat, intelligence, and individual and collective self-protection. A total of 18,552 FELIN systems will be delivered to the French army according to the 2014-2019 defense program law.
At the end of 2014, Sagem had fully outfitted 17 regiments with FELIN systems. The system has already been deployed in Afghanistan and African theaters of operation. The program is being conducted under the management responsibility of French defense procurement agency DGA.