FRES – FITTED ‘FOR’ NOT ‘WITH’ – U.S. INDUSTRY SETS OUT ITS STALL
16 Feb 05. The announcement by Brigadier General Charles A. Cartwright, Program Manager, FCS Unit of Action, during the AUSA Winter meeting that the U.K. and the U.S. had agreed an MoU on co-operation for the U.S. Future Combat System (FCS) and the UK’s Future Rapid Effects System (FRES) has clarified the confusion with regard to U.S. Industry participation in FRES and the ongoing ITAR problems. (See: BATTLESPACE UPDATE Vol.7 ISSUE 6, 10th February 2005, FRES LOOKS TO EUROPE – U.S. COMPANIES TO BE SIDELINED?)
“Brigadier Moore and I signed the MoU in December to commence co-operation between the two nations on their respective projects,” he told BATTLESPACE Editor, Julian Nettlefold, “This does not mean that FRES becomes part of the FCS Program but allows for both systems to share technology and interoperability and logistic support.”
When asked by the Editor whether the ITAR problems would restrict technology transfer his view was that this MoU would smooth the way for technology transfer but the UK’s Defence Industrial Policy required that the bulk of the FRES IP and technology should reside in the U.K. In fact some agreements for ITAR transfer had already been agreed.
“The signing of the MoU would start a process of quarterly meetings starting with a January meeting in California, followed up by the RUSI conference in June.
In another announcement, Jane’s reported that BAEYSTEMS and Insys Ltd hade beaten off competition from EDS Defence and QinetiQ to win the Electric Armour TDP.
Electric Armour will provide FRES with a significant level of protection against a variety of battlefield threats including HEAT warheads.
The Editor met up with representatives from Raytheon and Lockheed Martin, both of whom have submitted bids for the Electronics Architecture TDP Programme (EA TDP). Other companies bidding for the EA TDP segment include a Thales team that includes BAE SYSTEMS and AMS, Boeing, General Dynamics UK and Giat in a £75m funded EATDP.
The purpose of the EA TDP is not to design the Electronics Architecture for FRES, it is a competitive initial Assessment Phase (iAP) set of risk reduction activities. The bids submitted to FRES systems house Atkins and the DPA on February 22nd will be subjected to scrutiny and a downselect to two competitors will be announced in April, a very short timescale for such a technical programme. The TDP will examine the potential technologies for the FRES EA in order to determine whether they are sufficiently mature and that they present no significant risk to the on-going development of the capability at the UK MoD Main Gate announcement, expected in December ’06.
These EA TDP activities include studies, reports, activities, experiments and implementation of the EA in a Systems Integration Laboratory (SIL). Finally, after down-select, each contractor will integrate their representative EA into a FRES chassis concept vehicle. Following Main Gate, the Demonstration Phase will develop the FRES solution to meet the operational requirement.
Systems required include:
C4I Information Utilisation that will study and deliver the Command and Control integration with BOWMAN. This will be delivered as an integrated BOWMAN and FRES crew station.
Vetronics will enable real-time computing resources for interfacing and control of the FRES vehicle electronics and its functions. This will be done with emulators in the SIL and later with real data from the two Chassis TDP’s. The Chassis TDP’s suppliers will be downselected to 2 from 3 in April.
HUMS will link all strands of the EA. This will include power management and mobility systems and will bring the competed ‘Best of Breed’ from aerospace and civil HUMS capability.
Other systems required include, Integrated Image handling and Local Situational Awareness
It appears from discussions with companies during AUSA that the DPA and Atkins require access to