Rheinmetall Defence logo

Rheinmetall GLADIUS 2.0 - system approach

PDF icon Download article as PDF

Following last year's article (Soldier Mod volume 27), here is an update on Rheinmetall’s GLADIUS 2.0 soldier system. This article will focus on the open system architecture concept and the latest developments.

GLADIUS 2.0 – baseline for individual soldier system solutions

GLADIUS 2.0 combines the highest standards of protection, communication and up to date situational awareness for each individual soldier, streamlined decision-making for the commander and improved mobility and integration to other platforms being integrated part of the platform-agnostic C4ISTAR network all the time.

GLADIUS 2.0 is not just a soldier system. With its open architecture system approach, it provides a baseline architecture for enabling a customized solution to address the needs of different users. With standardized interfaces, Rheinmetall offers flexible configuration, modular role concepts and growth potential to increase and improve combat capabilities. Based on iterative processes with the relevant stakeholders, GLADIUS 2.0 provides chances for the design and configuration of the future soldier system supporting the troops during their mission in the best matter. Rheinmetall works closely with its customers through workshops, studies, trials and tests to ensure requirements are satisfied and user benefits of the system are maximized.

Advantages of an open system architecture

With GLADIUS 2.0, Rheinmetall ensures the functional and physical architectures are open, flexible and scalable. The open systems architecture solution is realized by a functional approach driving the physical domain.

It allows Rheinmetall to integrate and interface with any legacy, current or future capabilities of the system through common, standard interfaces. Furthermore, it is handled by a migration strategy concept to keep backlash as minimal as possible and easy.

The multi-layered physical architecture considers a minimalistic design approach and supports a multi-role system configuration at any time. In addition, the functional and physical architectures provide design variation options and system interoperability with joint or combined forces.

GLADIUS 2.0 follows a holistic approach enabling us to meet customer requirements around a C4I core system, clothing, protection, load carriage, weapons, reconnaissance and sighting sub-systms. Due to scalability and modularity, GLADIUS 2.0 configurations can be designed to meet requirements, budget, and ever-green upgradable options.

For interconnectivity, GLADIUS 2.0 design and universal interfaces follow international military standards:

  • Generic Open Soldier System Reference Architecture Interoperability (GOSSRA)
  • Joint Dismounted Soldier System Interoperability (STANAG 4677)
  • Flexible and extendable interfaces such as NATO Generic Vehicle Architecture (NGVA) for future proofing
  • Robotic Autonomous Platform integration (STANAG 4586) for MUM-T

This enables the integration of various subsystems and provides connectivity’s to other soldier systems with the same standards.

Properties and functions of the system, the subcomponents, human factors as well as the use cases and specific roles are considered in the construction of the architecture. It shows how the soldier system is designed and how it will work as a worn physical system. Interfaces and interactions are illustrated to promote the functions and limitations of the system components and the available space of the whole system.

The physical architecture incorporates human factors as well as human factor performance to provide integrated train-as-you-fight solutions. One example for that is the integration of the laser-engagement training system LEGATUS.

In order of human factor aspects and individual priorities, a customization of the configuration is always given. The choice to individualize the system is a key factor in the GLADIUS 2.0 soldier system supporting a soldier to fulfill their mission.

German Army IdZ VJTF Soldier System update

Rheinmetall is in the final stages of delivering IdZ VJTF Soldier Systems and upgrading the PUMA. With this system, the Idz VJTF soldiers are directly networked and integrated in the PUMA Infantry Fighting Vehicle up to company level – realizing the System Panzergrenadier. Soldier systems and the IVF Puma interact seamlessly with a state of the art, software defined C4I network and the Tactical Management System TacNet.

The program includes the national certification of the equipped units for the Germany’s leading role for NATO VJTF 2023. Project end with the delivery of the final features is scheduled for end of June 2022.

System Panzergrenadier is a state of the art approach to network dismounted soldiers and IFVs. Such a concept is available for adoption by other nations and can be adapted to their needs and structure. This offers the opportunity to deliver fully Digitized Battle Groups, interfaced with higher level C2 systems.

GLADIUS 2.0 – Integration into a Digital Environment Architecture

With the Digital Environment Architecture, our objective is to boost added value for the customer by connecting the different entities on the battlefield within a holistic network. Our approach involves not only the integration of Rheinmetall systems, but rather the networking of partners who actively contribute supporting our armed forces in all dimensions. It is characterized by open architectures and direct interfaces between partners and our customers to fulfill the individual requirements, specifications and framework conditions.

The Digital Environment Architecture goes beyond the boundaries of a C4I STAR network. Together with our partners, we create the battlefield of the future where the advantage lies with our customer. The triad of the elements command and control capability, sensors and effectors are the basis of our actions in order to counter the threats of the future.

With its open and modular architecture, GLADIUS 2.0 is already prepared to play a crucial role within the Digital Environment Architecture by delivering decisive advantage to the soldiers and commanders operating in ever-complex environments. During Eurosatory 2022 and future engagements, you will have the chance to learn more and discuss with our experts!

Rheinmetall Defence logo For more information please visit:

Upcoming Events
SoldierMod eBook
Click here for SoldierMod FREE eBook
Other publications by Intercomms: