The Imess adopts the Esterline - Racal Acoustics RA6000 Talon push-to-talk system.
The new Imess carrying vest contains the radio, a weight- and energy-optimised body computer for the coordination and control of all electronic system components, two high-capacity system batteries and sensors for GPS and inertial navigation.
As visual man-machine interface when on the move the Imess uses the Sagem OVD Mk2 monocular display mounted on the protective helmet, which is a version of the one adopted for the French Fain.
To increase survivability the Imess kit includes a new protective helmet system with a mounting for optronic equipment, protective goggles, and a modular body armour capable of protecting the soldier both from stabs and high-velocity ammo.
At the moment the Swiss Armed Forces have no definite plans, with respect to budget year and procurement size, for a major procurement of Imess production systems.
The Imess equipment tested in 2008 weighs around 60 kilos: some 17.6 kg for legacy equipment, including uniform, rifle, ammunition, etc.
The C41 suite of the Imess adds 7.7 kg and has to be worn by all the infantry team members, while other loads are task-or mission-specific, among them protection (5.1 kg), optronics (four kg) and sustainability (3.6 kg, mainly water).
Further integration challenges surfaced, as the Sotas intercom system is analogue but the Imess digital.
The Imess system should be declared fit for acquisition in late 2015, with delivery of the first production items taking place in early 2017.
The Integriertes Modulares Einsatzsystem Schweizer Soldat (Imess--integrated and modular engagement system for the Swiss soldier) programme started in 2005 with concept evaluation and testing of the German IdZ system, and in November 2007 Armasuisse signed a contract worth 120 million [euro] with Eads for the prototype phase that included the supply of 25 systems as well as the integration of Imess equipment into both a Piranha 8 x 8 and a Duro troop transport vehicle.
Based on the Eads Warrior 21 Soldier System, the Imess leverages company experience in other programmes such as the Spanish Comfut.