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India’s Soldier of the Future

by John Reed on March 19, 2011

So, happy Saturday. NATO planes and warships are finally striking Libya. In the meantime, we thought we’d show you India’s notion for a 21st Century battle uniform. Dubbed the Futuristic Infantry Soldier As a System, or F-ISAS, the kit consists of body armor and WMD protection integrated to the uniform, a hand held computer, helmet with a visor displaying critical battlefield information and 5.56mm, 7.62mm, and purportedly 6.8mm “modular weapon system” that can also be equipped with a bolt-on grenade launcher.

The weapons will start to be fielded next year, and the whole system will be in place by 2020, according to Soldier Systems.

The whole point being to turn the next generation of Indian infantryman into a fully networked “a self-contained fighting machine.” Oh, and the system’s developers, India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation, also want to reduce the weight carried by each soldier by 50 percent.

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{ 27 comments… read them below or add one }

Dhunt March 19, 2011 at 6:58 pm

looks pretty poxy to me


ziv March 19, 2011 at 7:04 pm

That looks almost like a parody of a weapons display. I mean, did they have to paint a mustache on the mannequin with a magic marker? Really?
I did like the idea or reducing the combat load, but 50% is a bridge too far.


marrs101 March 19, 2011 at 7:07 pm

I like the mustache.


Zap March 19, 2011 at 10:09 pm

i like the motor bike helmet too


Prodozul March 19, 2011 at 10:34 pm

When I was watching the video I thought he was speaking hindi. Until he started saying numbers…


William C. March 19, 2011 at 10:55 pm

I have my doubts India can make this happen. Most of their military doesn't even have standard assault rifle and their own INSAS is of poor quality. At best only a handful of units will get access to such equipment.


Hassasin March 20, 2011 at 12:21 pm

What do you mean by "most of their military doesn't even have standard assault rifle"?? Mate they are goin to get missile defence….so dont you think what you claim is retarded??


William C. March 20, 2011 at 1:07 pm

The Indian military has some very nice equipment. In recent years they have gotten new aircraft, vehicles, and supersonic cruise missiles among other things. Yet it is a large Army to equip and the quality of their infantry gear has lagged behind. Some regiments use the INSAS, others have AKs, and others have the Indian produced variant of the FN-FAL. Elite units meanwhile have the IMI Tavor and Colt M4.

They should try to standardize some more basic equipment first including an assault rifle that is better than the INSAS. Then they can concentrate on fielding all of this fancy Land-Warrior type gear to front line units.


blight March 20, 2011 at 7:55 pm

it may be a combination of a large army and varied operational needs. Their army is actually smaller than that of the US, so not absurdly large. I suspect the FAL lingers on due to demand for a 7.62 weapon in some circles, not unlike our own redemand for 7.62 weapons after standardizing on a short range M4. However our demand for 7.62 weapons is based on long range use with accurized weapons with matching optics and match grade rounds. Not sure if India has trickled that kind of stuff down to line units.

However, the Kargil War and numerous conflicts must have led to some sort of demand for weapons capable of long ranges, just as with the US?


asdf March 21, 2011 at 12:54 pm

However our demand for 7.62 weapons is based on long range use with accurized weapons with matching optics and match grade rounds. Not sure if India has trickled that kind of stuff down to line units.

neither has the usa before the actual wartime need for them

UC Indy June 12, 2013 at 11:57 am

India is its own enemy. Wait for the day this sleeping giant awakes and brushes past its centuries old hangovers and self-doubts. Whenever this giant awakes pray for u r own survival. Thanks, comments of people like u would help it come out of the slumber and take its rightful place under the sun.


raj March 20, 2011 at 2:57 am

William C,
The Indian Army hasoccupied and defended positions in Siachen at insane altitudes for 25 yaers now.Tha Pakis took some empty positions from India in Kargil and ran down in a few months.India has kept at bay the most vicious islamic insurgency in Kashmir.Not an inch of Kashmir stood'liberated ' by these islamists.All they do now is mount a few ambushes here and there and attack civilans.Stop worrying about the Insas,it not glamorous geardo,all it requieres is care and discipline.Am yet to meet someone who took a insas bullet and brushed it off.LOL We do not have standard assualt rifle!!!WOW we do it all by slingshots.And whether we can supply all our chaps.Wel lwe are getting a 10 C-17s, a dozen Phalcon Awacs,planning for 150 Typhoon or Rafeale class Aircraft, a nuclear submarine,artillery ,tanks etc etc just over the last two years.This programme is no big deal compared to them


asdf March 20, 2011 at 7:37 am

yes, i too have heard the issues about the insas. cracking in the winter if i remember correctly. also the amount of equipment doesn't mean a lot.
if it does, the serbs haven't got the memo….


Brian Black March 20, 2011 at 3:07 am

No one can cut 50% from the infantry soldiers load. A weight reduction on one thing is the opportunity to load something else onto his aching back.


charles August 8, 2012 at 2:24 am

the indian army just like the chinese has so many soldiers they cant afford to equip them all like they would want to. it dosint really matter to them since they have so many troops on ground hahaha


no-name March 20, 2011 at 2:49 pm

You can laugh as much you like but remember, India has one thing in common with USA and NATO.

the enemy!

Islam and China

oh yeah, also the democracy



Mark March 21, 2011 at 11:19 am

They might want to use E ink on the arm PC since I could barely see it in a low light situation. We can all imagine how bad it would look in direct sun light.


asdf March 21, 2011 at 12:59 pm

the pda is an epic fail yes. it's also too large and clumsy and prone to getting stuck/ damage etc.


coolhand77 March 21, 2011 at 4:45 pm

Is it just me, or does the rifle look like a mock up of an F2000 or F2000 clone?


Mr. AAA August 18, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Well the presentation video is a let down, for sure. But I seriously disagree with william C's comment. What people are forgetting is that Indians are most adept at creative improvisation termed as "jugaD" in Hindi. When they can successfully use 1950s era hardware (such as Mig-21s & INS Viraat) well beyond their life and yet be able intimidate the best of hostile armed forces with them, just imagine what will it be able to do with new era hardware. People around the world are just not ready to see India as a credible military power. But the armed forces of the world do. Just read the news about so many international war games in which India participated.


sunnyysideup March 20, 2011 at 11:41 am

Doesn't the ARC fire 5.56, 7.62 and 6.8?


Hassasin March 20, 2011 at 12:18 pm

I am not sure about the 6.8 but yes it fires the 5.56 n 7.62


asdf March 20, 2011 at 4:23 pm

does hk 416/ 417 and scar count? and if it fires the most powerful ammo of them, it can fire all.


blight March 20, 2011 at 8:04 pm

Cant beat attritional exchanges. The old days of redcoats using gatlings to blast down hordes of spear wielding locals is over. Now the locals have guns too, and you are bound to lose some. Adopting cheaper kit doesnt work unless you can similiarly throw masses of fodder at your enemies. it will be a while before defensive technologies nullify the equalizing power between a third worlders AKM and a first world soldier with a shorter range m4 and body armor which is good for at best a few shots…


Lance March 21, 2011 at 3:58 am

Dont forget your getting more new MiG-29Ks for your new Aircraft carrier.


Lance March 21, 2011 at 4:04 am

For spec ops this option is viable but a waste for regular infantry since most troops don't need to make quick caliber changes in the field and lack facilities to do it. This is one key reasons the US Army dumped multi caliber carbines in the new Improved Carbine Competition and now want hyper bust for some weird reason.

The rifles in this pic INAS rifles which have many doubters about this design. Why don't they adopt a M-4 and FAL combo like most countries in the Afghan theater of ops have gone to like US has M-4 and M-14 combo or the British a L-85 and AR-10 combo. This works better than muticaliber guns that have a nasty disadvantage of losing accuracy and jamming when not properly re barreled.

I know its India pride but adding more FNC features to the INAS rifle might help the design.


asdf March 21, 2011 at 12:58 pm

the basic principle [of the insas] is actually good (i think a copy of galil or a kalashnikov maybe), the production quality is not so good. or maybe there is a fault in the design somewhere (lack of ergonomics, gas impignement system instead of a cylinder etc).


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