Army FCS readies for next phase

The Army is submitting the latest version of its Future Combat Systems program to the Defense Acquisition Board for formal approval to move from the planning phase and into development and demonstration.

A thrust of the Army's report, to be published May 14, will be the service's plans for integrating command and control software in FCS vehicles and the subsystems that hook to the vehicles, said Maj. Gen. Joseph Yakovac, program executive officer for ground combat systems in the Tank Automotive and Armaments Command.

Linux will be the operating system for program computers, according to a published report from Boeing Co., the lead systems integrator on the project. The program, managed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, is now in the concept and development phase.

Army Chief Information Officer Lt. Gen. Peter Cuviello said the most important part of FCS is not the weaponry but the advanced command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance technologies it will use.

"It's not about new tanks, new Bradley [fighting vehicles], new aircraft. It's about the C4ISR," Cuviello said at the Software Technology Conference this week. "That's what's going to make this thing really work. This is all being done through the miracle of technology."

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