ARMY INNOVATION

The Netherlands’ Soldier Transformation OnGoing (STRONG)

On 28 January 2021, the Dutch Ministry of Defence reported that 12 Infantry Battalion, based in Schaarsbergen, has received 40 new sets of combat clothing and equipment as part of an enhanced logistical operation called Soldier Transformation OnGoing (STRONG). This operation intends to facilitate the modernisation of the Dutch soldier’s equipment. 12 Infantry Battalion is the first unit to receive equipment as part of STRONG. The programme solves logistical issues of long procurement and distribution schedules by utilising a “mobile fitting room” where soldiers can fit new equipment and have it adjusted according to their needs.

As reported by the Dutch Ministry of Defence, “Good personal combat equipment is essential. Arranging new equipment and helmets for thousands of soldiers involves a lot of work and takes time (…)”
It will take approximately 2 to 3 years to complete the distribution of equipment -helmets, boots, clothing, and combat equipment- envisaged by STRONG.

 

At present, 12 Infantry Battalion, has received new helmets from the Dutch company KPU. These helmets weigh 25% less than their predecessor while maintaining good stability; high comfort and fit; and better protection. The modular design allows attachment of lights, cameras, and other equipment. Next, the distribution of new boots will take place throughout 2021. The STRONG mobile room will reach, and welcome, a majority of operationally deployed soldiers to allow them to try the new boots out according to their function. The programme envisages eight different types of boot from 3 different brands.

 

In a previous InfoFlash, Finabel has presented the trends dominating the development of new personal weapons and combat equipment. Progress in this field includes using Artificial Intelligence systems and innovative, modular, equipment to augment the soldier’s physical and reconnaissance capacities. This trend aims towards the creation of the so-called augmented soldier.

 

While the development of weapons and equipment is progressing at pace, the modernisation of clothing and equipment remains vital for the modernisation of land forces and the effective protection of soldiers.

Written by Yasmine BENCHEKROUN, Researcher at Finabel – European Army Interoperability Centre

Sources

Infanteriebataljon ontvangt als 1e nieuwe helm en uitrusting, Ministerie van Defensie, 28 January 2021, https://www.defensie.nl/actueel/nieuws/2021/01/28/infanteriebataljon-ontvangt-als-1e-nieuwe-helm-en-uitrusting

 

Aanmeten helm en uitrusting op stoom, Ministerie van Defensie, 23 September 2020, https://www.defensie.nl/actueel/nieuws/2020/09/23/aanmeten-helm-en-uitrusting-op-stoom

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *