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29 Aug 02. The U.S. Army announced the selection of General Dynamics company, Eagle Enterprise, Inc., of Westminster, Md., and Exponent, Inc., of Menlo Park, Calif., as Lead Technology Integrators (LTIs) for the concept development phase of the Objective Force Warrior (OFW) Science and Technology (S&T) program. OFW is an Army flagship program focused on providing the future soldier and small team similar combat-overmatch and skip-a-generation capabilities that Future Combat Systems (FCS) brings to the Objective Force.

The OFW program seeks dramatic improvements in individual soldier lethality, survivability, and agility-while reducing combat loads from 100lbs today to less than 50lbs by 2008. The OFW applies systems of systems solutions in concepts, designs and technology demonstrations for soldiers that are available only in platforms today. The OFW S&T program seeks to demonstrate technologies for lightweight protective combat ensembles with integrated multi-function sensors, networked communications, collaborative situational awareness, enhanced positioning navigation, networked fires, collaborative embedded training, medical status monitoring, and unmanned air and ground sub-systems.

“The award of these agreements marks a major milestone for Army Science and Technology. The OFW Program really steps up to the plate. It raises the bar for getting the most advanced technologies into the hands of our soldiers,” said A. Michael Andrews, deputy assistant secretary of the Army (Research and Technology)/Chief Scientist. “Our challenge is to help them be the most survivable and lethal soldiers in the world; to complete their missions with a goal of a 40-pound fighting load in all terrain and weather conditions – – with a long term goal of getting the Soldiers’ fighting load to 15 pounds. Our soldiers are the heart and soul of the Objective Force. We look forward to moving ahead in this transformational endeavor as partners with the LTIs.”

The OFW S&T program has two phases. In OFW Phase I, the two competing LTI teams will work closely with the Army to develop the OFW concept design and system of systems architecture. In Phase II, the Army will downselect to a single LTI who will complete preliminary and detailed OFW designs, and then integrate component technologies and subsystems into the OFW system of systems. This LTI approach in the S&T phase of the OFW program seeks to develop technologies faster and to a higher level of maturity in S&T to shorten the time needed in the System Development and Demonstration phase-which will reduce total time needed to develop, test and field OFW by the end of this decade.

Each of the two OFW LTI teams will receive $7.5 million in government funding for the eight-month Phase I effort. Both awards are Other Transaction Agreements for Prototype Projects, authorized under Section 845 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1994, Public Law 103-160, as amended (10 United States Code, Section 2371 note).

Philip Brandler, director, Natick Soldier Center (NSC), stated, “It is very gratifying to have NSC lead the Army effort with the LTIs. We have a strong team across the Army S&T labs and a partnership with PEO Soldier ensures that we can get this new capability to our soldiers soonest.”

Today’s LTI selection follows completion of several independent panel reviews to define the soldier system vision within the context of Army Transformation and begins the earnest and necessary partnership between OFW and FCS to achieve the Army vision.

Col. James Moran, program executive officer, Soldier added, “the selection of the LTIs marks an important decision by the Army in the transformation of the Soldier and the Land Warrior program to the U.S. Army’s Objective Force.”

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