Home | Foreword


Welcome to Soldier Modernisation,

Despite the onerous financial strictures placed on military budgets, soldier modernisation programmes are going ahead. France is on track to deliver the first 6,000 of over 22,600 systems due to be delivered to several regiments by Christmas with the 1st Regiment of Infantry expected to deploy with the system to Afghanistan in the Autumn.

This is not true of all programmes, even as close as across The Channel. In the UK, the ongoing predations of PR11 and the supposed plans for PR12 that make Dickens’ Mr. Bumble appear a hopeless philanthropist, have left their mark. As a consequence, only the STA aspects of FIST are to be imminently fielded, with the later phases of the programme concerned with C4I yet to get the formal go ahead.

Despite the see-sawing between progress and delay, increasingly closely related to finance rather than available technology as the latter matures, intensely incubated in Iraq and Afghanistan, we have yet to see major procurement collaboration between national soldier modernisation programmes. In other sectors, notably military aerospace, countries and companies have learned to work together on common platforms with reconciled requirements; even the F-35 has an enormous international component.

In contrast, each country has its own soldier modernisation programme, doubtless each with many unique requirements and doubtless replicating much of the same research and duplicating the same costs, while ultimately procuring equipment with smaller economies of scale. If cross border procurement co-operation can be achieved on advanced jet fighters, surely it can be achieved on the much more important area of soldier modernisation.

Adam Baddeley

Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict