The Canadian Armed Forces has exercised options under the Integrated Soldier System Project (ISSP) to procure an additional 1,256 Argus soldier systems to be delivered in 2019.
The Canadian government initially contracted with Rheinmetall to start the qualification phase of the Canadian Army’s (ISSP) in 2015, which it has successfully completed in the meantime.
General Jonathan Vance, Chief of Canadian Defence Staff, described the Argus soldier system, which is already in service with the Canadian Armed Forces, as a tool "that will improve situational awareness for [the] dismounted troops, allowing better command and control and improving their performance and protection".
This order is worth CAD$22 million. The final production phase of the Argus soldier system is now underway, with 1,632 units slated for delivery this year.
The Argus soldier system uses specialised BMC4I software to provide a common operating picture with important mission information, such as friendly positions, enemy positions, and terrain overlaid on tactical maps.
Voice and data are rapidly exchanged between soldiers and their commander, resulting in an overall increase in team mobility, lethality, sustainability and interoperability. Wearable electronics are ergonomic and reduced to a minimum. The easy-to-use interface ensures that soldiers remain focused on the mission.
Advanced technologies make a major contribution to improving the five main capabilities of modern warfare – protection, lethality, command and control, as well as mobility and sustainment. Rheinmetall’s goal is a well-protected soldier, equipped with integrated weapons, a clear picture of the tactical situation and reliable means of communication.
The soldier systems improve performance in all five capability areas without overburdening the individual rifleman. The system is modular, resulting in reduced volume, weight and power consumption. This ensures greater operational flexibility and the ability to quickly adapt to new situations and mission requirements.
The equipment is easy to use even under harsh conditions and in stressful combat situations when performance and low weight are paramount.
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Rheinmetall is a leading maker of soldier systems. Besides Argus, examples of already fielded systems include the German armed forces' Future Soldier – Expanded System. The group’s portfolio also embraces the advanced Argus New Generation and Gladius 2.0.
All of these systems bring individual infantry soldiers, combat vehicles and unmanned systems into the tactical sensor-to-shooter network. Higher echelon command elements can also be included. The common operational picture forms the basis for faster, better-informed decision-making at all levels, a key factor in gaining and maintaining the initiative.