Thursday, September 22, 2005

FCS: Dead or Alive?

The Wall Street Journal reported today that the US Army recently performed demonstrations of the Army's Future Combat System for members of the HASC. This is an unusual move. While the Air Force relishes in showing off its future toys, the Army is not accustomed to these types of demonstrations. Why then is Army demonstrating FCS? I believe this is an indicator that FCS is in serious trouble.

Some experts believe the Army is living in a fantasy-land when it comes to FCS. Others site the program's vast amount of immature technologies as a sign of major concern. Indeed, FCS is one of the most complex and sophisticated acquisitions the American military has ever undertaken. FCS has already had to restructure its program in order to allow for extra schedule leeway. The Army is still dreaming when it states that Army brigades can be equipped with FCS in a decade. This brings us full circle...What exactly was the Army demonstrating in its show to HASC?

Undoubtedly, the demonstration was not representative of the true capabilities of FCS. Instead, the Army is hoping to sway a suspicious Congress to its side, while also buying time to play catch up in research and development. As the FCS program progresses, we can expect either more pep rallies (like this demonstration) or increased defensiveness/hostility towards those that question the FCS program.

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