FCS – PROGRESSES WITHOUT GROUND VEHICLES
By Julian Nettlefold
26 Feb 09. The FCS Update customary at AUSA Meetings was given by the new FCS Program Manager, Major General John Bartley who took over from General Charles Cartwright who retired in November.
The FCS program consists of eight new Manned Ground Vehicles, unmanned air and ground vehicles, precision weapon systems, and advanced tactical and urban sensors that are connected by a state-of-the-art wireless network. Working together, these systems will help soldiers share real-time information across the battlefield. Overall, FCS will provide soldiers vastly increased situational awareness, survivability and lethality, ensuring they can take the fight to the enemy before the enemy has time to react.
He gave an upbeat assessment to the FCS Program under the cloud predicated by many pundits that the program was going to suffer severe cuts in the forthcoming Budget discussions in Congress.
He confirmed recent accomplishments:
1. The completion of the Non-Line-Of-Sight Cannon P1 Prototype delivery and testing to support NLOS-C Milestone C.
2. The completion of Spin Out 1 tactical Field Test, Field Demonstration, Test and Evaluation and Preliminary Limited user Test (LUT).
3. Completion of all Systems and Platform PDRs including Class 1 and IV UAVs, MULE UGV, Manned Ground Vehicles and Network.
4. Completion of Integrated Mission Test One.
5. Systems of Systems Common Operating Environment 2.0 Deliveries/Testing.
6. First successful testing of Active Protection Systems end-to-end test against an RPG at the base range.
7. Airborne Standoff Mine Detection Systems (ASTAMIDS) Captive Flight Test
Gregg Martin, Boeing FCS Program Manager and Gen Dan Zinini of SAIC, together the Lead Systems Integrator for FCS program, announced the successful completed Integrated Mission Test-1 (IMT-1), verifying that the integration of FCS systems and Battle Command software is proceeding as planned.
The test, conducted in January at the FCS Common Control Node at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., caps more than two years of software development, integration and testing involving nearly every FCS Integrated Product Team and One Team Partner, as well as soldiers from the Army Evaluation Task Force (AETF) at Fort Bliss, Texas. The AETF is evaluating and testing FCS capabilities for incremental fielding and the development of full FCS Brigade Combat Teams.
“Integrated Mission Test-1 marks another milestone toward the program’s goal of allowing soldiers to operate in an information-rich battlespace where threats can be identified more rapidly, understood more fully and targeted more precisely,” said Martin.
The test involved nearly 400 computers, 30 unique mock-ups of FCS Manned Ground Vehicles, 45 soldiers, and more than 120 industry, Army and other government personnel.
During the test, soldiers crewed mock-ups of Manned Ground Vehicles during simulated operational missions that used advanced simulations of FCS systems and network capabilities. The purpose was to validate early prototypes of FCS Battle Command and System software by soliciting soldier feedback and analyzing how they executed the missions. Feedback was also obtained on FCS Warfighter Machine Interface displays, which provided soldiers with a common operating picture of the operational environment as they conducted simulated operational tasks.
“During this integrated mission test, soldiers from the AETF worked with our engineers on the design and functionality of FCS Battle Command software as they executed tactical missions in a simulated, contemporary operational environment cluttered with military and civilian vehicles as well as vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices,” said Rick Greenwell, Boeing FCS director for Integrated Phases, Simulation and Test. “Through participation in these exercises and their relevant combat experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan, the soldiers provided invaluable