Following the success of the sales of its Argus soldier system to the Canadian Army, Rheinmetall Canada (Hall A, Stand A380) is displaying its offering here at the show as discussions take place with nations in the Asia- Pacific area that are looking to define their requirements for such a system.
In August, it was announced that the Canadian Army had acquired an additional 1,256 systems to be delivered in 2019, bringing the total to some 4,600, and now that programme has reached a high level of maturity, the company is looking to other potential markets for the soldier system.
While European militaries are seasoned operators of this type of technology, the Asia- Pacific region is relatively behind. Singapore and Malaysia have both adopted soldier systems developed by their respective defence industries, although the rest of the region is still exploring this type of capability, and is looking to proven designs that can be easily introduced into service.
"We are in the exploration stage at the moment," Frantz Beaujuin, technical specialist for soldier systems at Rheinmetall Canada, told the Show Daily. "One of the main strengths is that this is already in service with Canada." The company is helping militaries in the region understand the improvements that adoption of such a system will bring, and the added assurance that the operation of the Argus system in Canada is bringing will help with that.
This is all at the discussion stage, and conversations regarding transfer of technology have not yet happened, although Rheinmetall is open to considering this if it was required by a customer.
Most of these potential customers are looking to equip forces with this capability in the coming two to three years, Beaujuin said.
Germany operates a slightly different variant of Argus dubbed the Gladius, with Rheinmetall largely acting as the systems integrator on the programmes, incorporating various elements including a Harris radio and a handheld computer provided by Saab.
Integrating legacy systems is one of the key requirements of a soldier system, Beaujuin noted, so Argus is flexible in meeting the needs of different forces.