Rheinmetall has presented a first complete concept for the third generation of the German Bundeswehr’s Future Soldier – Expanded System, or IdZ-ES. The presentation was the initial outcome of a study contract awarded to Rheinmetall in March 2021. The purpose of the study is to examine and evaluate potential improvements for the IdZ-ES version of the already in service with the Bundeswehr, with the objective of generating a concept for a third generation IdZ-ES soldier system.

The concept is to reveal potential implementation risks, cost drivers and the degree of maturity of a mission-oriented system. It will serve the Bundeswehr as a basis for preparing solution proposals for the procurement of a third generation IdZ-ES. The study is to be complete by 30 May 2022. Depending on the outcome, it could result in another significant contract for Rheinmetall, as the Bundeswehr has a continuing need for advanced digital soldier systems.

The study encompasses seven work packages, which together comprise the complete IdZ-ES system. These include the Command, Control, Communications, Computers and Intelligence (C4I) functions, which are being examined regarding planned conformity with the Digitisation of Land-Based Operations (D-LBO) programme. Also being taken into account are:

  • the subsystems clothing
  • protection and load-bearing equipment
  • optics and optronics
  • the links to ground vehicles and aircraft
  • as weapons and aiming devices

Intermediate reports on the individual topics are to be submitted on 22 November 2021 and 30 May 2022. A final report on all activities covered in the study is also due on 30 May 2022.

Jack Richardson