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Future Combat Systems - Phase 1

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) teamed with the US Army to develop the Future Combat Systems. A Memorandum of Agreement signed by the Army and DARPA in February 2000 delineates the approach, funding and responsibilities. The Army vision calls for strategic dominance across the spectrum of operations. This spectrum of likely operations demands a force that is deployable, agile, versatile, lethal, survivable and sustainable. In addition to system demonstrations, like FCS, research includes enabling component technology areas: survivability (e. g., Full Spectrum Active Protection (FSAP)), mobility (including a new engine demonstration initiative with a goal to double the power density of a comparable commercial engine to meet FCS power, size, and weight constraints), and intra- vehicular digital electronics. It also integrates diverse vehicle technologies developed by the Army, other DoD agencies and industry. These technologies are demonstrated in coordination with Army warfighter organizations through vehicle component and system level technology demonstrations.

Under terms of the Army/DARPA MOA signed in February 2000, the Army committed to provide the following funding: $107M (FY 2002), $122M (FY 2003), $114M (FY 2004) and $111M (FY 2005) for a single contractor demonstration of three of the FCS functions and cost sharing of selected Army/ DARPA FCS enabling technologies in Robotic Unmanned Ground Vehicle, Maneuver Command and Control Communications, Maneuver Beyond- line- of- sight (BLOS) Networked Fires Weapon, and BLOS Surveillance and Targeting System. In addition, the Army will provide full funding for demonstration of the other four functions that will make up the entire system- of- systems of the Army/ DARPA FCS program. This program responds to a draft Mission Needs Statement issued by the US Army Training and Doctrine Command and the Army Vision. FCS is the centerpiece of the Army's strategy to achieve the Future Force (formerly Objective Force). It is a multi- functional, system of systems that will be capable across the full spectrum of operations. The Army plans to field FCS in this decade.

On May 9, 2000 DARPA and the Army selected four contractor teams for the first phase of the Future Combat Systems (FCS) program. Each team entered into a "Section 845/804 Other Transaction for Prototypes" agreement for the initial 24-month conceptual design phase.

The selected contractor team leads and agreement amounts were:

  • The Boeing Co., Phantom Works, Seattle, Wash. - Agreement amount (cost-shared with company): $23,299,998. Government share: $10,000,000.
  • Science Applications International Corp., McLean, Va. - Agreement amount (cost-shared with company): $12,830,470. Government share: $10,000,000.
  • TEAM FoCuS Vision CONSORTIUM, led by General Dynamics Land Systems Inc., Sterling Heights, Mich., and Raytheon Company, Plano, Texas - Agreement amount (cost-shared with consortium): $14,000,000. Government share: $10,000,000.
  • Team Gladiator (TRW Inc., Carson, Calif.; Lockheed Martin Inc., Lockheed Martin Vought Systems, Dallas, Texas; CSC/Nichols Research, Huntsville, Ala.; Carnegie Mellon Research Institute, Pittsburgh, Penn.; Battelle Memorial Institute, Columbus, Ohio; IITRI/AB Tech Group, Alexandria, Va.) - Agreement amount (cost-shared with consortium): $15,461,499. Government share: $10,000,000.

Contractors supporting the FCS program were:

  • The Boeing Company - NID, WB& B, VRI, Signature Research, Rockwell Science Center, NIST, Krauss- Maffei Wegmann (KMW)
  • Full Spectrum Team - SAIC, United Defense, SPL, VRI, Omnitech Robotics, LMI, SRI International, ITT Industries, CEM, Northrop Grumman
  • Focus Vision Consortium - General Dynamics Land Systems, SRI International, Halliburton Company, Coates & Jarratt, Inc., Raytheon, Honeywell, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Maxwell Technologies, Carnegie Mellon, WB& B, Sensis Corporation, BAE Systems, Aurora,
  • Gladiator Consortium - IITRI AB Tech Group, Carnegie Mellon, Lockheed Martin, CSC, Battelle, TRW

During the first phase of the program, contractor teams developed two design concepts; each concept must provide the deployability, agility, versatility, lethality, survivability and sustainability envisioned for the Future Force. The first concept was for a network-centric, distributed force that will include a manned command and control element/personnel carrier, a robotic direct-fire system, a robotic non-line of sight system, an all-weather robotic sensor system, coupled with other layered sensors. The second concept was the team's own design approach for a system of systems.

Following the design concept phase, DARPA and the Army plan to competitively select approximately two contractor teams to prepare a detailed FCS design of the best concept. Then the program will select a single contractor team to build and test an FCS demonstrator. The information gained through this demonstration and experimentation effort was intended to allow the Army to make a decision regarding Engineering and Manufacturing Development in fiscal 2006, with the first system fielding in 2012.

The detailed FCS design effort will expand the efforts to define the details of each of their concepts and provide detailed architectures for Command, Control, Communications, Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (C4ISR), software and hardware, and draft plans for logistics support, environmental issues, training, and production (e. g. long lead items, processes).

In April 2003, the Army Leadership planned to make a decision on the technical readiness of one or more of the designs to enter into a final design, build and demonstration phase, and, given an affirmative decision, DARPA will issue a modification to their Other Transaction 845 for up to two Contractor Teams for this final design, system architectures, building of functional demonstrators, and the delivery of detailed design of selected components. Concepts and architectures must be detailed and implementation plans ready to execute. During this final design, integration of the demonstrators, and the demonstration itself, it will be necessary to work concurrently with still developing technology packages to integrate the necessary capabilities into the demonstrator.

The system of systems capability is to be demonstrated by FY 2006 through a series of demonstrations in conjunction with modeling and simulation. The contractor( s) will be expected to demonstrate the complete set of system of system functionalities and how all the capabilities will be successfully integrated together both hardware and software.

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Page last modified: 07-07-2011 02:42:55 ZULU