NETWORKED SOLDIER PLAN DELAYED

"The Armys plan for turning soldiers into digital warriors is once again being rewritten, in the wake of disappointing field trials that showed that technology is improving, but is not yet ready for combat," National Defense magazine reports."Land Warrior Initial Capability" (LW-IC) was supposed to be the first step in a long process of networking soldiers together. Each fighter would get equipped with a small, 500 megahertz computer running Windows 2000, a radio, a customized rifle and a helmet-mounted display eyepiece. All of these would be linked together. And all that a soldier sees or says could be sent to each other or to headquarters.Every soldier on the battlefront will be seamlessly interconnected with his buddies as well as operation command and control structures," Lt. Col. Dave Gallup, LW program manager, tells the magazine.LW-IC was supposed to be given to Army Rangers in the upcoming fiscal year. But that's not going to happen, now."Although it has been much improved over earlier prototypes, the system was deemed 'unreliable' and unlikely to survive the rigors of combat," National Defense says.The Army will now be moving directly to a more advanced version of the program, which is supposed to mesh with the Army's newest light armored vehicle, the controversial Stryker.Why this next generation with be any more reliable than the first is unclear.

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