Future Combat System Fiscal Year 2008 Program Adjustments

What is it?  The Army’s Future Combat System ((Brigade Combat Team) (FCS) (BCT)) is a joint, system-of-systems consisting of a network and a combination of manned and unmanned systems that use advanced network architecture to enable levels of joint connectivity, situational awareness and understanding, and synchronized operations previously unachievable. It is designed to interact with and enhance the Army’s most valuable weapon—the Soldier.  When fully operational, FCS will provide the Army and the joint force with unprecedented capability to see the enemy, engage him on our terms, and defeat him on the 21st Century battlefield.

What has the Army done?  FCS is the Army’s first major modernization effort in nearly four decades. It is the embodiment of the modular force, a modular system designed for “full-spectrum” operations. It will network existing systems, systems already under development, and systems to be developed to meet the requirements of the Army’s Future Force. It is adaptable to traditional warfare as well as complex, irregular warfare in urban terrains, mixed terrains (deserts and plains), and restrictive terrains (mountains and jungles). It can also be adapted to civil support, such as disaster relief. It is the number one priority acquisition program for the Army.

What continued efforts does the Army have planned for the future?

Why is this important to the Army?  The Army is striving to find a balance between three competing priorities:  budget constraints, the demands of war, and the need to modernize the force.  The adjustment to the FCS program strikes this balance.  While entirely budget-driven, it leaves the FCS program mostly intact, yet still fully funded in POM 2008-2013.  It also minimizes developmental risk where possible and gets FCS technologies into the hands of troops sooner rather than later.  FCS is the Army’s only major modernization program left (160 Army systems have been ‘terminated’ over the past decade to pave the way for FCS); it is critical to the Army’s Future Force strategy and the Army’s continued relevance on the 21st Century battlefield. 

Appendix 1—Summary of Major Changes to the FCS Program in FY 2008