GAO Future Combat Systems Report: 2008

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FCS Constellation(click to view full) The USA’s $160+ billion Future Combat Systems program aims to replace at least 1/3 of the USA’s land forces. The program’s original mandate had its components replacing the USA’s heavy armor, but that plan collided with the reality of front-line experience in Iraq. FCS is now slated to be a set of medium forces that are slightly more deployable than a Heavy Brigade Combat Team, but still cannot fit into the C-130s that are expected to make up the USA’s tactical airlifter fleet. The concept of an integrated set of vehicles, robots, sensors, and UAVs, all backed by a high-performance network, remains. The US Government Accountability Office has been asked to report on the program every year, and its 2008 report suggests that FCS is reaching a critical stage on 2 fronts: system design and development, and software design and development. Their overall 2008 report says that… “The progress made during the year by the FCS program, in terms of knowledge gained, is commensurate with a program in early development. Yet, the knowledge demonstrated thus far is well short of a program halfway through its development schedule and its budget. This portends additional cost increases […]

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