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Information Superhighway Coming to a Battlefield Near You

The long-running (and often troubled) Land Warrior program may be getting its first break. Positive reviews have been coming back from the 5th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division that shipped out this summer to Afghanistan, regarding an eight-pound suite of applications that allows them to find each other as well as enemy targets.

Next month, ten to twenty additional troops will be receiving a new, DisOps (distributed operations) system that weighs 1.5 pounds and looks quite similar to a typical PDA.

New handheld PCs being deployed to U.S. Special Forces in Afghanistan. Via Wired/Lockheed Martin.

The system includes a central laptop that the squad leader uses to plan missions, show troops key maneuvers,  and insert photos of wanted insurgents. After planning, the unit synchronizes the smaller, PDA-like consoles and all notes from the squad leader appears on the screens.

The PDAs come complete with QinetiQ’s EARS sniper detection system to allow the troops to pinpoint sniper fire in real-time as well as allow the squad to send real-time images of the battlefield to F-16s flying above the battlefield with annotations of friendly positions.


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