16 Jan 03. BAE SYSTEMS has confirmed key elements of its recently submitted proposals for the UK Ministry of Defence’s Future Integrated Soldier Technology (FIST) programme.
Phill Blundell, Managing Director of BAE SYSTEMS C4ISR Group, focused on the company’s ability to succeed within the partnership framework of the Ministry’s Smart Acquisition processes and the robustness of its systems integration approach.
He commented, “BAE SYSTEMS approach to FIST draws on best-of-breed technology from 150 suppliers, many of them Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises. Our assessment methodologies embody best practice from Smart Acquisition and BAE SYSTEMS own processes. In FIST, we aim to be the industrial partner for the transformation of the British Infantry and will open up a £4 billion export market for British products.”
He confirmed that this combination will ensure the ability to optimise the FIST solution within the forthcoming £15m Assessment Phase, leading to a quantum leap in the effectiveness of individual soldiers and sections within the network-enabled, digitised battlespace.
The BAE SYSTEMS-led team has already created a truly open and value-adding relationship with an extensive base of suppliers of advanced technologies across the five NATO domains of lethality, C4I, mobility, survivability and sustainability.
Co-ordination will take place within BAE SYSTEMS engineering processes and domain understanding in partnership with the user military community, the Defence Procurement Agency and their specialist advisers. It will build upon the 1999 FIST Technology Demonstration trials, to which BAE SYSTEMS contributed significantly.
The initial procurement phase of the FIST programme is estimated to cost about £500m, with a through-life support value of up to £1.5bn in the years up to 2020. An initial operating capability is to be delivered by 2009.
The MoD has plans to continue the development of the FIST system through major incremental steps in 2012 and 2015. This strategy could ensure the UK’s position as one of the leading suppliers of soldier systems and technology for the future.