Remember the Land Warrior
program, which only took 15 years and half a billion dollars outfit our troops with high-tech battlefield uniforms? With DisOPS ("distributed operations") Lockheed Martin
is taking a different tack. Deployed to Special Forces in Afghanistan, the system is comprised of the Connect software which runs on ruggedized laptop computers, allowing squad leaders to plan missions on a map, and View PDAs that receive info over tactical radio, cellphone, or even WiFi networks. The PDAs provide "friendly force tracking of other team and squad leaders, land navigation tools, photo capture and transmission, and the ability to annotate and share maps in real time with other leaders." In addition to all that, the handhelds include a sniper detection system for locating the origin of enemy fire and distributing it to other units in the area. Reportedly the system is working quite well -- which means that, barring any further obstacles, DisOPS might see widespread use before 2030.