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  SoldierMod Volume 9 - 2012
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SAKTI: Malaysian Progress

Work on Malaysia’s next generation soldier system is at its early stages but platoon level trials may be possible later this year

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Malaysia’s Soldier Advanced Kombat Technology Integrated (SAKTI) soldier modernisation programme, is currently in its Study phase and unfunded under the current Five Year Plan but is nonetheless making progress with a section exercise taking place in November as part of a existing exercise with plans in place to field an experimental platoon for further work in 2012.

Rather than a truly independent programme, the programme is being linked to the Network Centric Operations (NCO) programme in which advanced networking and C4I technologies will be acquired and integrated across all tactical echelons. The first step in this programme, known as Phase 1A which will complete in early 2014 will initially look at integrating existing stovepiped systems with limited funds to acquire new equipment. The follow on Phase 1B, which will be added to the next Five Year Plan will have a longer duration than 1A and acquire new capabilities with SAKTI as well as a Battle Management System both being considered strong candidates for inclusion.

Sapura

Sapura have outlined their soldier systems concept via work in three areas: Head Sub-System (HSS), Body Sub-System (BSS) and Weapon Sub-System (WSS). The HSS consists of a Head –Mounted Micro Camera and night vision capability with a data output, head mounted display and earpiece and microphone; the WSS consists of a the Rifle Control Unit consisting of a five-button wireless controller for one handed use with key features including push to talk for the radio, switching the HMD on and off, turning the HMD brightness up and down as well as Video transmission to control friendly forces. The image shown is similar to the Kord Defence SmartGrip RIC developed in partnership with Thales Australia. The BSS consists of a controller system, energy unit with a power pack for the communication interface, micro-camera and HMD with a single polymer lithium ion battery for up to ten hours of operation; a communications interface for secure IP based radio which from the image is a Thales St@rmille radio and finally a navigation unit with a display for blue force tracking and situational awareness, colour digital mapping and terrain and urban profile analysis. Within Sapura’s concept is a CyberQuad four rotor UAV.

Sapura Thales has also produced a Centralised Computer Systems for IP feeds, video processor and compression system. The cameras on the systems would also be integrated via a Personal Area Network.

However, in SAKTI experimentation, the Malaysian Army have used the Thales NORMANS systems from Thales Norway coupled with the St@rmille.

STRIDE

Malaysia’s Ministry of Defense’s Science and Technology Research Institute for Defence (STRIDE) is supporting the SAKTI work in a number of ways beginning an evaluation of sub-systems for the Malaysian military in 2011, beginning with vision systems including night vision and helmet mounted displays and ergonomic and comfort in the wider system. A project on Situational Awareness is the next step. Another area of work is work on a new camouflage to replace the current Hariman Belang or Tiger Stripe pattern currently being worn. STRIDE has used fractal geometry in its design with initial systems seeing a significant reduction in the use of black. STRIDE hope to have a sample of cloth to the new design, sufficient to produce ten full uniforms for field testing later this year.

DSA 2012

The DSA 2012 exhibition in April provides an indication of companies interested in pursuing SAKTI. Turkey believes they have a strong relationship with Malaysia. At DSA, Turkish firm GATE Elektronik launched their new ER-Link dismounted datalink, first demonstrated in Turkey in January with links established over 900MHz or 2.4Ghz with ranges of over 200m. Other systems on show included Polish firms TelDAT’s Jasmine BMS systems which has a Dismounted Soldier Systems element. Hyundai had their Position Reporting Equipment on show which hosts BMS software, including a battalion level situation map and high sensitivity GPS performance and is designed to plug into VHF combat net radios for immediate situational awareness. The system is in widespread service in the South Korean military. Harris has supplied its Falcon Fighter soldier system, on show at DSA to the region having been ordered by a South East Asian military in 2011. Falcon Fighter includes the RF-7800S Secure Personal Radio which is already in service with Malaysian Special Forces. Other systems on display included Yugoimport’s VBS10 and Sagem’s FELIN.

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