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FCS Industry Team to Initiate Production Planning


Boeing [NYSE: BA] and partner Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), Lead Systems Integrator for the U.S. Army’s Future Combat Systems (FCS) program, today announced that the Army has authorized planning for FCS low-rate initial production, including long-lead items for the first FCS capability Spin Out and Manned Ground Vehicle (MGV) early production units. The latter is focused on the Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon (NLOS-C) initial production platform, which will be fielded in 2010 according to a Congressional mandate.

“The Army’s notification to proceed with early production planning for Spin Outs and Manned Ground Vehicles is evidence that FCS technologies are maturing according to plan and represents a crucial step toward meeting program production objectives,” said Dennis Muilenburg, vice president-general manager, Boeing Combat Systems, and FCS program manager. “It underscores the significant accomplishments of the entire FCS One Team which continues to perform and is well-positioned to deliver these early life-saving capabilities to our soldiers as quickly as possible.”

Three FCS Spin Outs to the current force will be initiated in two-year increments starting in 2008 when the FCS team delivers the first infusion of capability to the Army Evaluation Task Force (AETF) in Fort Bliss, Texas, for testing. The first, referred to as “Spin Out 1”, consists of equipment and technologies that will provide enhanced situational awareness and communication capabilities for the Current Force through technology insertions to Abrams battle tanks, Bradley Fighting Vehicles and HMMWV vehicles. Spin Out 1 elements include network integration “B” kits consisting of an Integrated Computer System, System-of-Systems Common Operating Environment, Battle Command and Network Management software and communications system including the Joint Tactical Radio System Ground Mobile Radio. Also included are Tactical and Urban Unattended Ground Sensors to provide real-time threat information in complex terrain, and the Non-Line-of-Sight Launch System for remotely controlled precision fires.

A recent Critical Design Review of Spin Out 1 technologies confirmed that they meet design requirements and are ready for integration into current force vehicles and the AETF. Low-rate initial production for Spin Out 1 will support the procurement of 17 Brigade Combat Team sets to be fielded incrementally over a period of seven years, beginning in fiscal year 2008.

FCS MGVs, developed in partnership with BAE Systems and General Dynamics, will provide the Army with a new family of networked vehicles with enhanced armor and protection technology, and next-generation survivability and sustainability features that are required for successful and decisive future battlefield operations. Based on a common chassis, FCS MGVs will be more than 70 percent common, reducing spare parts and logistics costs. The NLOS-C will be the first of the eight MGV variants to be developed and fielded as part of the FCS program. It is designed to provide a networked, extended range precision attack capability against point and area targets in support of FCS Brigade Combat Teams.

Plans call for 18 NLOS-C initial production platforms to be delivered between fiscal years 2010 and 2012 at a rate of six per year, in advance of the Milestone C and low-rate initial production decisions in 2013.

The LSI, in partnership with BAE Systems and General Dynamics, plans to employ various sites for component subassembly, and final vehicle integration, assembly and test activities will be conducted, including Elgin, Okla.; Lima, Ohio; and York, Pa. Once integration and assembly are complete, the NLOS-C vehicles will undergo cannon verification testing at Fort Sill, Okla., then be transferred to Fort Bliss, Texas, and White Sands Missile Range, N.M., for system-of-systems verification testing conducted by the AETF.


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