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C4iSR: Joint & Common Equipment

IDEX 2019: Rheinmetall adds MPU5 to Argus soldier system, eyes exports

18 February 2019
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Rheinmetall Canada has integrated a new radio, Persistent Systems' MPU5, into its Argus dismounted soldier system and showcased it at the IDEX 19 exhibition in Abu Dhabi, together with three display options.The Rheinmetall Canada Argus soldier system displayed at IDEX 19 with the baseline Saab Linux display (left) and the chest-mounted Windows tablet for commanders (right). The antenna for the MPU5 is visible over the left-hand model’s left shoulder. (Giles Ebbutt)The Rheinmetall Canada Argus soldier system displayed at IDEX 19 with the baseline Saab Linux display (left) and the chest-mounted Windows tablet for commanders (right). The antenna for the MPU5 is visible over the left-hand model's left shoulder. (Giles Ebbutt)

Persistent Systems' MPU5 is a mobile ad-hoc networking (MANET) multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) radio that has interchangeable L-, S-, and C-band frequency modules. Frantz Beaujuin, Rheinmetall Canada technical specialist for soldier systems, told Jane's that the radio had been selected both for its capabilities and because it is ITAR-free, supporting the effort to market the Argus system more widely.

Beaujuin said demonstrations were currently being conducted for other armies, although he was unable to be more specific as to which they were. However, he noted that Argus had been included in the UK's Army Warfighting Experiment (AWE) in both 2017 and 2018 as part of dismounted soldier system (DSS) trials, and in AWE 18 the system was integrated with the Streamcaster 4200 MIMO radio from Silvus Technologies.

Three system displays were exhibited: the baseline ISS Saab handheld display, running on Linux; a chest-mounted Windows tablet intended for the dismounted commander; and an Android display using a ruggedised smartphone, which Beaujuin observed was also suitable for more covert operations.

The Canadian Army's Integrated Soldier System (ISS) is essentially the Argus ensemble and currently uses the Harris RF-7050S secure personal radio.

Artem Azbukin, Rheinmetall Canada's project co-ordinator, said that with an order in September 2018 for 1,200 additional Argus systems the Canadian Army had procured 4,300 out of what he estimated was a possible total of 6,000. Distribution and training are to be complete by later in 2019.

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