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Mar 28, 2005



Last week the Presidient signed the authorization act that gives full funding to FCS. But I wonder is this 3.6 billion will bring FCS to fruition. The program has run short on funds before. As one AP report summarized, “The FCS program has long been criticized for remaining over budget and behind schedule. Earlier this year, the House Armed Services Committee voted to cut about $200 million from the Army's request of $3.6 billion for the FCS program in the fiscal 2009 budget.” Lots of folks are understandably skeptical. I think it's a promising program that fortunately received full funding--I just hope we see some results before this money runs out. -- MAJ R/CGSC/SG18B


FCS is a system of systems consisting of 18 platforms plus the soldier plus the network http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/systems/ground/fcs.htm. Sensors range from smart mines with sensors attached to back pack size robots that can be sent into building to detect enemy presence. Many of the UAV (unmanned air vehicles) are also useful for detecting IEDs (improvised explosive devices). FCS networks data not only internally but also with other US forces to include Joint/Allied/Coalition forces. Some good flicks on FCS desired capabilities cana be found at - http://www.army.mil/fcs/index.html click on the multimedia clips.

Paul Peterson

One small factor reference the FCS light armor and reliance on the network. True to a point. The network is essential for the FCS equipped Units of Action (UAs) to execute their tactics/doctrine against a conventional enemy by detecting their systems with various sensors at a distance that outstrips the enemy's ability to detect the UA. That allows maneuver "out of contact" to hit the enemy force at the time and place of the UA's chosing. However, this network of sensors will not provide similar intel against an unconventional force like we see in Iraq. For contingencies involving such a "simple" enemy as we now face there, there are automated protection systems (APS) which will provide pretty good protection against the RPGs we now face. So even if the FCS program dies, let's hope that some parts survive to get to the main force.

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