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18 Feb 05. In stark contract to the rather muddled and confusing brief during AUSA in October, General Charles Cartwright and the FCS Team of Denis Muillenburg from Boeing and General Zinni of SAIC, gave a structured but sometimes evasive g=brief as to the current situation with regard to progress of the FCS project. The most significant announcement was that the project had been allocated a further $6.4bn SDD Contract Addition to take into account the various spiral contracts required following ‘lessons learnt’ during OIF (Future Cash Systems could be a good acronym, as this comes on top of the reported $5bn for Boeing and $2.5bn for SAIC fees earned!)

Milestones reported included:
*Completed SOSCOE Build 1 FQT on schedule
*Delivery of SoS Virtual framework & Integrated Sims
*System-of-Systems Integration Lab (SoSIL) Launched
*US-UK Land Battlespace MoU Signed (See BATTLESPACE UPDATE Vol.7 ISSUE 7 21st February 2005, FRES – FITTED ‘FOR’ NOT ‘WITH’ – U.S. INDUSTRY SETS OUT ITS STALL)
* Army/USMC MoA Signed (USMC personnel added)
*Completed Successful DAB Review (Nov ’04)
*Executed Omni-Fusion Build 1 Experiment
*Completed Integration & Verification Readiness Review

’05 Objectives:
* Program and Acquisition management
* Systems-of-System Function Review (SoSFR)
* System-of-Systems Engineering Iterations (EI)
* Systems Development
* NETWORK Development
* Supportability

’06 Objectives:
* Program and Acquisition Management
* Complete Capability Maturity Review 1 and Incremental SoS Preliminary Design Review (IPDR)
* deliver Software Builds
* Conduct Experiment 1.1
* Conduct System reviews
* Execute Subcomponent I&V testing in SILs
* Complete Execution Phase 1

General Cartwright said that the Army is to select FCS test brigade, the First Unit of Action, within two years. In two years, the Army will select one its newest brigades to test Future Combat System equipment.

A new modularized, brigade units of action will help work out the bugs in the roughly 18 different FCS technologies between 2008 and 2016, “In FY 2007, we are going to take one of the modular brigades and we are going to stand it up as an evaluation brigade; it will become ultimately the first FCS-equipped unit of action,” Cartwright said.

The evaluation unit, which has not been identified, will receive the first set of FCS prototypes for testing in fiscal 2008 and will work for two years to refine the equipment for fielding to other modular brigades, Curran said.

Prototypes of the non-line-of-sight (NLOS) cannon will likely go in that first spiral the brigade will evaluate. BATTLESPACE U.S. correspondent Scott Gourley asked for clarification as to the calibre of the NLOS whether it be 155mm 38 or 39 calibre. The General would not be drawn on the specifics of this and other pointed questions as to exact specifications of the final vehicles and their equipment. ‘Obscuration’, was the description from one observer, particularly with regard to whether the vehicles would have wheels or tracks, a perennial FCS question. Cartwright appeared to be moving more towards tracks given lessons learnt ii OIF urban situations where the Bradley had performed particularly well in operating in tight street situations. However this did not rule out the Stryker deployment for the FCS Force indicating that the Stryker Brigades would form part of the new force with spiraled technology upgrades such as that initiated by DARPA with Raytheon (See: RAYTHEON DEVELOPS HIGH-RATE DATA CAPABILITY FOR ON-THE MOVE HIGH CAPACITY APPLICATIONS). He said that bandtrack as on current CAT agricultural vehicles was being trailed but the military had expressed a preference for the unitary band-track system as demonstrated to BATTLESPACE (See: IGUANA SEEKS MOBILITY CHALLENGE, Battlespace Visits Iguana Technology, By Scott R. Gourley, October 2004). Reports reached BAYTLESPACE that an F

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