skip to main content

Netherlands' VOSS soldier system has ‘limitations'

The Royal Netherlands Army's VOSS soldier system incorporates a vest, backpack, E-Lynx PNR-1000 radio, and the Raptor end-user device. It is designed for mounted and/or platoon-level infantrymen. (Netherlands Ministry of Defence)

The Netherlands Armed Forces' Improved Operational Soldier Systems (Verbeterd Operationeel Soldaat Systeem: VOSS) being delivered by Elbit Systems and Thales has ‘limitations', Janes has learnt.

Primarily, the limitations are with electronic devices such as the radios, because the requirements have changed since they were drafted in 2008, Colonel Art van Beekhuizen, the Defence Materiel Organisation project manager for the Soldier Modernisation Programme at the Netherlands Ministry of Defence (MoD) conveyed to Janes on 20 March.

The VOSS system, otherwise called the Smart Vest, comprises the Load Carriage and Protection (LCP) equipment, backpack, and E-Lynx PNR-1000 radio. For officers and non-commissioned officers (NCOs), the system also includes the Raptor end-user device (EUD).

The main issue, according to Col van Beekhuizen, is that the initial requirement was for a platoon-level radio, however, this comes with various secret classifications meaning it can be a hassle to connect with the other systems in the VOSS ensemble. In addition, there is a need for more batteries to adequately support the electronic devices, coupled with the necessity for frequent recharging.

As a result, the users in the armed forces are already asking for its replacement. In response, Col van Beekhuizen's team are considering incorporating the replacement project into the wider Foxtrot communications programme. However, this new endeavour is anticipated to span between eight and 10 years. Therefore, the intention is to upgrade VOSS, which could involve replacing the E-Lynx PNR-1000 radio and redistributing them to other areas in the military, he said.

Looking to read the full article?

Gain unlimited access to Janes news and more...