Magazine article National Defense

Land Warrior Follows Simpler Path

Magazine article National Defense

Land Warrior Follows Simpler Path

Article excerpt

The Army is drastically simplifying the make-up of its high-tech soldier ensemble, the Land Warrior, in an effort to make the system less prone to failures and easier to use.

After the last version of Land Warrior failed reliability tests earlier this year, the Army switched gears and decided to make the system less complex and modify the hardware to make it compatible with the new Stryker infantry vehicle. The so-called Land Warrior Stryker Interoperable is scheduled to be completed by 2006.

The Land Warrior was designed to provide communications and networking capabilities to dismounted soldiers that so far only have been available to mounted forces. The idea is for members of a platoon to be able to pass around battlefield procedural messages, graphics, alerts and other pieces of information that currently are communicated by hand signals and voice.

The next step in the program is to test a key component of the Land Warrior--a portable command-and-control computer called the Commander's Digital Assistant--and let units in the field evaluate its performance.

"The CDA is our primary development tool. It's an early generation of what will be the leader-planning device for Land Warrior," said the program manager, Army Lt. Col. Dave Gallop.

The 1st battalion of the 504th Parachute infantry Regiment was to deploy to Iraq last month with 10 laptop versions of the CDA and 42 PDA-size units.

"We are excited about how similar this system is to computer systems we use every day, which should make it fairly easy for our soldiers to integrate," said Maj. …

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