US ARMY EXPANDS SCOPE OF FCS – DELAYS INTRODUCTION OF FIRST UNIT
22 Jul 04. Boeing (NYSE: BA – News) and Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), LSI for the U.S. Army’s FCS program, have welcomed the Army’s intention to expand the scope of the program and accelerate delivery of technologies and capabilities to the Current Forces.
In its statement, the Army said the announcement demonstrates its strong, long-term commitment to FCS and its potential contributions to the Current Forces.
“This is a strong endorsement of our partnership with the Army and our performance on FCS,” said Dennis Muilenburg, vice president and general manager of FCS for Boeing. “We stand ready to work with the Army and our industry partners on the FCS One Team to develop and fully implement the Army’s plans.”
The plan will expand the scope of the program’s SDD phase by adding four discrete “spirals” of capabilities for Current Forces. It also will fully fund the FCS network and its 18 core systems, four of which were previously deferred. The changes to the program will allow the Army to field accelerated capabilities beginning in 2008, benefiting more than 30 modular brigades through 2014. The first fully- equipped FCS Unit of Action will be fielded in 2014. A significant increase to the current SDD funding of $14.78bn is required to accomplish the changes.
“The Chief of Staff of the Army challenged the Army’s acquisition community to accelerate delivery of needed capabilities to the Current and Future Warfighter,” said Brigadier General Charles Cartwright, program manager, Unit of Action. “Together with the Army’s One Team partnership this challenge will be accomplished.”
Further commenting on the program, Muilenburg noted, “It makes the FCS program more relevant to the Current Force, underscoring the value of the warfighting capabilities and architecture we are developing, while maintaining our commitment to the Future Force. Thanks to the efforts of the entire Army and industry team this program of unprecedented complexity is on track.
“Now we have to show the flexibility to get these new capabilities to our Soldiers even faster,” he added. SAIC’s FCS Deputy Program Manager Dan Zanini said, “From the LSI perspective, the most important aspect of today’s announcement is the Army’s commitment to transformation. Nothing speaks more clearly about both the promise FCS holds for the future and its relevance to the Army’s situation today.”
In the role of LSI for FCS, Boeing and SAIC function as a “general contractor” for the Army and are responsible for total system-of-systems engineering and integration, development of the core network and architecture, and identification, selection and procurement of the program’s major systems and subsystems.
In May 2003, the Defense Acquisition Board approved the FCS program’s entrance into the SDD phase. FCS is a networked “system-of-systems” combining advanced communications and technologies to link Soldiers with both manned and unmanned ground and air platforms and sensors. As the basis for the Department of Defense’s visionary transformation plan, FCS will significantly increase the Army’s agility and reduce logistics requirements, allowing it to go anywhere and to overcome any adversary. FCS is also designed from the ground up to enhance joint operations and coordination between U.S. and coalition forces.
On July 21st The U.S. Army announced the delay for two years the launch of its first FCS combat unit.
Underlying technology will take longer than had been planned for development of the so-called Future Combat System, chief of staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker told the House of Representatives Armed Services Committee.
“We will have our first full FCS-capable unit, with new technology and new platform by FY 14,” two years later than previously planned, Schoomaker said.
Under the restructured program, details of whi