The Army is accelerating Future Combat Systems capabilities to delivery of key cutting-edge technologies to Soldiers in infantry brigade combat teams (IBCTs), according to an Army press release.
Over the last five years, IBCTs have been in the highest demand during combat operations. As a result of capability gaps found in the IBCTs, the Army is adapting to accelerate the FCS and complementary programs to provide necessary capabilities to infantry units first, active and National Guard. These capabilities will increase Soldier and unit effectiveness and survivability during offense, defense and stability operations.
These “spin outs” of FCS capabilities for IBCTs include Tactical and Urban Unattended Ground Sensors; Non Line of Sight-Launch System, and network kits with software for Humvees. Additionally, the Class I Block 0 Unmanned Air Vehicle and the Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle (SUGV) are added to the spin out for fielding to IBCTs.
“We’re listening to our Soldiers and commanders in the field; and we’re listening to our senior civilian leadership, both in the Congress and within the Department of Defense,” said Army Chief of Staff George W. Casey, Jr. “They all want this new FCS gear and equipment sooner rather than later; and we’re in a position to deliver. These technologies are maturing pretty fast.”
Starting in July 2008, the FCS equipment will undergo a preliminary – limited user test (P-LUT) focused on infantry operations at Fort Bliss, Texas. The P-LUT will shift from the previously scheduled Heavy BCT Limited User Test. The results from this testing effort will support doctrine, organization, training and material development efforts. The formal LUT scheduled in FY09 will become the basis of the spin out acquisition decision.
The official request comes from the Army’s ongoing review of the entire FCS program, and reflects the decision to move more aggressively to support current operations with FCS capabilities. In conjunction with these changes to focus on infantry first, the Army will submit a reprogramming request to align funding with this decision.
Data Courtesy US Army