back to article Green Berets get wearable combat smartphones

It would seem that the American Land Warrior wearable war-smartphone system, once reviled by troops and cancelled by top brass, is now firmly on the road to military fashionability. The ultimate kit accolade - used by special forces - now appears to have been bestowed on the digi-trooper gear. The Land Warrior system in use. …

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  1. Matt Bryant Silver badge
    Pirate

    Aren't they forgetting something?

    ".....According to Colonel Will Riggins of Program Executive Office Soldier, it's a wireless personal area network style setup, as opposed to today's cables and wires snaking around a soldier's body armour and helmet....." No chance. Having someone walking around blasting out Bluetooth or WiFi signals to the World in general will be a very quick way to get them dead. Any such source of electromagentic signals would make it easy for troops to be detected and pin-pointed, especially by low-flying recce aircraft. Cables connecting the items on the same soldier, especially shielded cables, would be massively better as they reduce signal radiation. Optical cables would be even better still and probably lighter, though probably more fragile. Modern battlefield radios have used infrequent burst transmissions for decades to avoid triangulation, so any setup that gave regulalry pumped out locating signals is a death certificate up against a technically savvy opponent.

    "...."Once we're there I think we're going to have another huge jump in capability".... " More like a huge jump in combat casualties. One of the problems that has long stopped the US special forces being the "best of the best" is their chain of command allows continual and frequent political interference, as displayed in the ludicrous "Eagle Claw" fiasco. Imagine the remote intereference when HQ or even the White House can not just see exactly where you are, but also talk directly to every man in the unit via satellite coms. My prediction is that a lot of locater signals and sat coms will suffer "intermitant and unexplained failures" as experienced grunts switch them off in the field.

  2. jnievele
    Thumb Down

    Rest of the best?

    Actually, the Green Berets ARE among the top tier troops - they just have a different mission than for example Delta Force.

    Their task is, among other things, to spend a long time behind enemy lines, training resistance fighters, and stuff like that... which of course means it's not really such a good idea to give hightech kit to them - where will they get new batteries?

    The Green Berets are for example language specialists, train people on using explosives, etc. etc. etc. - all things where the landwarrior gear isn't actually needed.

  3. Mugs

    When will the first countermeasures appear?

    If the kit's going to have wireless links that are frequently active it won't be long before someone starts using the signal to identify targets. Not much point sneaking around in long grass if you're a wireless beacon!

  4. david 63

    Only one question

    Can I have one on my 02 contract?

  5. Johny Cache
    Grenade

    No so camo now?

    I guess sales of these will be on the increase then

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/05/20/tracking_phones/

    And not just to see how many Green Berets go into Field and Trek.

  6. Hermes Conran
    Grenade

    will it be able to run Medal of Honor?

    FPS in a real war zone.. trippy!

  7. h 6
    Boffin

    Colonel

    And that would "Colonel" with an "r" it.

  8. Fred Flintstone Gold badge

    Nah, tracking is easier than that..

    What kind of footprint do you think the charging kit will leave behind?

    It's either that or a peak in local battery sales..

  9. Mike S

    @Matt Bryant

    Are US forces often menaced by low flying enemy planes?

    I see your point about the possible countermeasures, but there are a lot of forces fighting people who are _way_ behind the technology curve.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Coat

    But will it play music?

    Even if it's just ABBA's "Super Trooper". Oh, that's "Super Trouper". Nevermind then.

  11. Robert Hill
    Jobs Horns

    @David 63

    Now now, it's NOT an iPhone, therefore it will be unavailable or overly priced on O2...you should know better...

  12. Allan George Dyer Silver badge
    Grenade

    Famous last words...

    "Hi mate, I'm on a battlefield,

    I said I'M ON A BATTLEFIELD

    WE'RE SNEAKING UP FOR AN AMBUSH RIGHT..."

  13. Steve Taylor 3

    @Matt Bryany

    > Having someone walking around blasting out Bluetooth or WiFi signals to the World in general will be a very quick way to get them dead.

    I remember a story from a few years back about Israeli reservists getting their wrists slapped for taking their mobile phones along with them on deployments. Naughty!

  14. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    @Matt Bryan

    I totally subscribe to your point of view. Low-tech enemies doesn't mean stupid enemies, though. They'll be quite intelligent enough to grasp the significance and usefullness of a wifi locator, and those things don't cost all that much.

  15. Daniel Wilkie

    What happens when

    they're links go down because wardrivers have been hijacking their access points to download torrents?

    :p

  16. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    @h6

    Either that is a joke I don't get or you cannot spell.

    Doesn't matter how much tat the US forces have they'll still end up in the wrong place, shooting non combatants and then handing the sorry mess over the British to uncockup.

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