Electronics Production | December 05, 2005
Tyco Electronics supports project to increase effectiveness of modern soldiers
Tyco Electronics is supporting defence systems supplier Thales in the assessment phase of the Future Integrated Soldier Technology (FIST) project, currently being carried out for the UK Ministry of Defence's Procurement Agency (DPA).
The first major experimental trial has been successfully concluded, and in the second phase trials, Tyco Electronics is responsible for cable harness design and manufacture and management of interconnections as well as selection of connectors. The FIST project is designed to provide the British Armed Forces with a totally integrated fighting system for Dismounted Close Combat (DCC). It follows international trends towards "soldier modernisation" to put the dismounted soldier firmly at the heart of the 'digital battlespace' and to increase operational effectiveness in the key areas of reporting, navigation, casualty finding and communication of tactical information. This requires advanced and complex interconnection technology to link up all the equipment carried by soldiers on the battlefield. Tyco Electronics can not only provide solutions to these applications but also offer the engineering capabilities to surmount many of the technical challenges that face the industry in implementing future soldier programmes. Key elements in any future soldier programme include weapons systems, night vision and sights, communications systems, GPS, power supplies and backup power. These systems require a combination of connectors, individual wires or harnesses. Tyco Electronics is already the industry leader for harness solutions for military applications and has many connector and cabling solutions that may be used in such applications. In addition, Tyco Electronics can also design complex connectors that are rugged, lightweight and capable of carrying multiple contact types, including power, RF, signal and fibre optic. Weight is a key factor as today's soldiers are already considered to be carrying too much and the company is able to do their part on this front by minimising the weight of any interconnect technology, whether this is achieved by packing more functionality into a connector to reduce part count or through innovative design techniques and/or materials. Other key issues cover sealing against contamination, extreme ruggedness, high mate and de-mate life span, the ability to still function when compromised, redundancy, and chemical and water resistance.