Thales awarded stage one FIST soldier systems contract

British Minister for Defence Equipment & Support Quentin Davies has awarded Thales UK a £150 million prime contract for the delivery and in-service support of a surveillance and target acquisition (STA) system that will form the first increment of the country’s Future Integrated Soldier Technology (FIST) programme.
The STA system comprises a suite of high-performance weapon sights, observation equipment and target location systems that will be deployed with dismounted units from the British armed forces operating in all environments, from desert to jungle, to arctic, urban and rural, day and night.

Thales UK says for minimal additional weight, the FIST STA system will significantly increase the close combat effectiveness of soldiers by providing benefits such as a reduction in engagement times; improvement in detection and recognition ranges; wider range of night firing options; significant increase in the probability of hitting the target with the first round fired; reduction in target location times; and a major improvement in target location accuracy.

Extensive trials and modelling have indicated that these benefits can be expected to raise the tempo of operations, increase the troops’ readiness for further operations and, ultimately, reduce own casualties, the company adds.

Davies says the “kit that we have ordered today will significantly increase the combat effectiveness of the British infantryman.
“The MoD is committed to equipping our frontline troops with the best equipment we can by using the latest technological advances.”


The first deliveries – sufficient to equip a brigade – are planned for November 2010, with full contract deliveries due to be completed in June 2014.

Pic: Troops with the FSIT tech in his wrist