Technology demonstration to yield a more affordable, more functional soldier ensemble

General Dynamics C4 Systems has been awarded one of three $12 million contracts to design a new information-systems ensemble for soldiers to use during combat operations. General Dynamics received one of the Ground Soldier Ensemble contract awards from the U.S. Army’s Tank-automotive and Armaments Command (TACOM) Contracting Center in support of Project Manager Soldier Warrior requirements.

The Ground Soldier Ensemble will feature built-in equipment that allows Army team leaders to quickly access critical information about each other and their surroundings during a mission. This enables more effective decision-making during tactical operations.

With an emphasis on affordable components and reduced size, weight and power consumption, the ensemble will have the computing power needed to enable small groups to view and manipulate information critical for mission planning. Radios and a headset for audio and digital communication will also be included, along with the power source and software needed to run the Army’s computer applications.

General Dynamics will deliver 10 prototype ensembles by September 2009 for user field evaluations, where soldiers will evaluate the new systems and provide direct feedback. During the second phase of the program, another 60 systems will be delivered early in 2010, reflecting the modifications that may result from users’ field experiences.

The Army will then conduct development and limited user testing at the conclusion of the second phase of this effort. After appropriate approvals have been obtained, the Army intends to award a contract for the production phase based on limited competition among the contractors who successfully complete the technology development phase.

General Dynamics C4 Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics (NYSE: GD), is a leading integrator of secure communication and information systems and technology. General Dynamics, headquartered in Falls Church, Va., employs approximately 92,300 people worldwide. The company is a market leader in business aviation; land and expeditionary combat systems, armaments and munitions; shipbuilding and marine systems; and information systems and technologies. More information about the company is available online at