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DOKS, VOSS and NFP - A look at the new Dutch individual soldier system
The Dutch armed forces are currently procuring the new Individueel Soldaat Systeem (ISS). This modular combat equipment comprises new combat equipment, the Verbeterd Operationeel Soldaat Systeem (VOSS) and the Defensie Operationeel Kleding System (DOKS). Clothing and equipment are in the also newly developed Netherlands Fractal Pattern (NFP) camouflage pattern.
The NFP is available in several colors: NFP-green for forested and urban, NFP-tan for arid and dry areas and the somewhat coarser and simpler NFP-multitone as a mixed form for personal equipment. In addition, there should be an NFP Navy for the marines. An NFP-arctic for arctic regions is also being considered.
The new DOKS clothing system includes various layers and items of clothing such as combat trousers, combat shirts, field blouses and moisture protection clothing. There is also a new tank combination for tank crews. This has already been delivered to the Dutch tank crews of the German / Dutch tank battalion 414. A new combat helmet, the Revision Batlskin Viper P6N, is also part of the DOKS.
In mid-2016, the Netherlands decided to equip the armed forces with more modern personal protective equipment. Implementation began in 2017. After an increase in the defense budget, it was decided in 2018 to expand the project initially intended for part of the armed forces to include the entire armed forces. DOKS is intended for all Dutch soldiers from all branches of the armed forces. A total of around 40,000 to 45,000 soldiers from the navy, the army, the air force and the military police are to be equipped with the new combat clothing system and combat helmets. The military police received the helmet in a black version.
In addition, there is a new modular combat equipment. It includes plate carriers, protective vest with additional elements, a set of pockets for magazines and other combat equipment as well as several rucksacks: a large 48-hour pack with 100-liter volume and two 10l side pockets, a patrol rucksack (50 l + sx 5l side pockets) and a small “grab bag” with 25 liters for short missions or as emergency equipment.
The heart of the VOSS is the “Smart Vest”. Like the cross-sectional protective and carrying equipment, it offers ballistic protection, takes combat loads and, in conjunction with the rucksack, makes it easier to carry heavy loads. It is made “smart” by the C4I components supplied by Elbit for networked operations management. Essentially, these are the handheld radios E-LynX (Software Defined Radio) and the Raptor tablet computer, as well as the associated vehicle component.
Some of the Dutch soldiers deployed abroad are already equipped with parts of the new combat equipment. As an interim solution for foreign missions, the Dutch Ministry of Defense also procured multicam kits from the NATO Support and Procurement Agency in June 2018, as the introduction of the DOKS could not be accelerated. The special forces of the Corps Commando Troepen (KCT) had already received new combat equipment in Multicam in 2017.
The new combat equipment and the VOSS were tested by the 11th Luchtmobiele Brigade, the 13th Light Brigade and the 43rd Gemechaniseerde Brigade, the Corps Mariniers and the Air Force Security Force under the direction of the Defensie Materieel Organization (DMO). The focus was on ergonomics, functionality and tactical aspects as well as networking with land and air vehicles.
The new combat equipment is to run from 2020 to 2022.
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