Administration moves to scrap FCS in existing form

Army would transfer some elements to new program

The final chapter in the Army’s Future Combat Systems program might be written this week.

The Defense Department’s chief arms buyer, Ashton Carter, said May 18 that the administration was on the verge of canceling the entire Army Future Combat Systems program in its present form and moving the portions it wants to retain to a new program, reports Andrea Shalal-Esa of Reuters news agency.

The near-term spinouts that DOD had planned to pursue after canceling earlier this month the manned ground vehicle portion of FCS would continue as separate programs under the umbrella of Army Brigade Combat Team Modernization, Army officials told Reuters.

Carter might issue a formal acquisition decision memorandum on the matter as early as May 20, sources told Reuters. At that point, the Army would issue a stop-work order for the manned ground vehicle part, and enter discussions with lead systems integrators Boeing Co. and Science Applications International Corp. about a termination fee.

At that point, the Army would have the opportunity to rework the terms of the overall contract with those companies. DOD acquisition officials favor individual funding lines for the remaining weapons systems and technologies over the large pricetag for the existing deal. The program was initially valued at $160 billion before the DOD dropped the $87 billion manned ground vehicle portion.

The firms might receive as much as $350 million in cancellation fees, writes Kris Osborn at Defense News.

It is conceivable that the reworking effort could result in multiple contracts involving a number of systems integrators, adds John T. Bennett at Defense News.

The opportunities for new contractors would involve some ground vehicles, command and control equipment, unmanned aerial vehicles, small robots, radios and other equipment.

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