The Kevlar Advanced Combat Helmet weighs approximately 3 pounds — half the weight of current models. An eyepiece (A) bolted to the helmet acts as a full-color computer interface, displaying maps and images from the camera on the weapon. A boom mic (B) and over-the-ear headphones (C) allow troops to communicate.
SOLDIER CONTROL UNIT
A computer "mouse" (D) shaped like a gun grip is strapped to the chest and used to toggle among screens in the eyepiece. It also is used to key the radio and send data to other soldiers.
A laser rangefinder (E) mounted on the rifle pinpoints enemy positions and sends their location coordinates across the network. The thermal sight (F) provides night vision, and a digital camera (G) lets soldiers send video clips to commanders.
A toggle switch (hidden by the soldier's left hand) is used to control the weapon's laser and video sights. It can also be used to operate the multiband radio.
With the eyepiece, a soldier can access mission data and a video feed from the camera attached to the M-4. Land Warrior's boot screen (1) looks much like one seen on so many consumer electronic devices. Land Warrior's GPS system creates maps (2) that show friendly troops represented by blue icons, but there's a lag time for updating positions.
A drop-down menu (3) — here, superimposed over a daytime video feed from the rifle's camera — provides mission updates and text-messaging (4) capability.
The weapon's thermal sight allows soldiers to scout terrain and potential targets at any time of day (5) — or night (6)
Soldiers tell PM that the system's weight and bulk make maneuvering difficult. On their backs, infantrymen carry a 12-hour battery (H) to power Land Warrior; a CPU (I) that runs the system; a GPS unit (J) to create maps; and a multiband radio (K) for voice and data communication.