Now the MoD has revealed what the British soldier of the very near future will probably be wearing - and it looks very similar to something from a Star Wars movie.
The futuristic looking helmet comes complete with ear protectors to protect from loud bangs, side-mounted torches for use during night operations and a mouth guard - but one which still allows the wearer's voice to be heard clearly.
The rest of the kit is already in use and features camouflage specifically created for the conditions of Afghanistan.
The helmet, which is currently under trial, and the new kit is part of what is called FIST - Future Integrated Soldier Technology - and is part of a £1billion-a-year programme to update battlefield equipment.
Britain is the world's second largest spender on military science, engineering and technology after the United States.
The British soldier of the future: Star Wars helmet and sharpshooter rifle to take on Taliban
By Colin Fernandez
26th June 2010
Armed to the teeth with the latest in technology, this is the new face of the British soldier.
And if he looks a little familiar, it's probably because you've seen something very similar in the Star Wars movies.
Gone is the old style 'pudding-bowl' helmet. In its place is one which features ear protection to shield the user from loud bangs and a mouthguard - yet also allows human voices to be heard clearly, and comes with side-mounted torches to assist in night operations.
The helmet, currently under trial, forms part of what the MoD calls FIST - Future Integrated Soldier Technology - and is part of a £1billion-a-year programme to update battlefield equipment.
Changing: A British soldier wearing the clothing of the future, current operational clothing and what British soldiers were wearing five years ago (From left to right)
The rest of the kit, as worn by a soldier from the Royal Anglian Regiment, is already in use and features camouflage specifically created for the conditions of Afghanistan.
It replaces two previous designs - a 40-year-old four-colour combination better suited to European woodland conditions and a lighter pattern for the desert.
The soldier holds the first all-new combat rifle used by the Army for 20 years.
The Lewis Sharpshooter is semi-automatic and said to be accurate up to 2,500ft - ideal for mountain warfare.
The SA80, standard issue since 1976, uses lighter rounds which were found to lose effectiveness at distances of more than 1,000ft.