General Dynamics Canada is incorporating the Variable Message Format (VMF) interface into Colt Canada's Soldier Weapon & Observer Reconnaissance Devices (SWORD) system, extending data exchange capability all the way to the dismounted soldier.
Developed as an alternative to radio-centric individual soldier systems, the SWORD system integrates weapon-mounted surveillance and targeting devices with ruggedized smartphone technology, bringing critical situational-awareness information directly to the soldier via their weapon. Incorporating VMF into the SWORD system ensures compatibility with higher level command and control (C2) systems, including Canada's Land Command Support System (LCSS).
"Soldiers are comfortable using smartphones," says Jeff MacLeod, general manager, Colt Canada. "Using smartphone capability to connect to higher level Command and Control systems provides soldiers with the information they need to conduct their missions successfully and safely."
"Systems like SWORD must be linked to higher level command and control system for overall operational effectiveness and the individual safety of dismounted soldiers," adds David Ibbetson, vice president, General Dynamics C4 Systems International. "VMF is a standard method that has been adopted by several nations, including Canada, to provide critical information directly to soldiers ensuring servicemen and women are always connected and equipped for what lies ahead."
Based on commercial off-the-shelf components, the SWORD system provides power, data and navigation infrastructure within the weapon, including GPS and inertial navigation for GPS-denied situations. Enhanced with modern smartphone technology and the ability to host battle management applications, these networked rifles will deliver the information soldiers need to execute missions safely and successfully.