Future Combat Systems
Future Combat Systems was the United States Army
United States Army
The United States Army is the main branch of the United States Armed Forces responsible for land-based military operations. It is the largest and oldest established branch of the U.S. military, and is one of seven U.S. uniformed services...

's principal modernization program from 2003 to early 2009. Formally launched in 2003, FCS was envisioned to create new brigades equipped with new manned and unmanned vehicles linked by an unprecedented fast and flexible battlefield network. In April and May 2009, Pentagon and Army officials announced that the FCS vehicle-development effort would be cancelled. The rest of the FCS effort would be swept into a new, pan-Army program called the Army Brigade Combat Team Modernization Program
BCT Modernization
The Brigade combat team Modernization is the United States Army's principal modernization program for Brigade combat teams from 2009 to the present...


Development history

As planned, FCS included the network; unattended ground sensors (UGS); unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs); unmanned ground vehicles; and the eight manned ground vehicles.

The Boeing Company
The Boeing Company is an American multinational aerospace and defense corporation, founded in 1916 by William E. Boeing in Seattle, Washington. Boeing has expanded over the years, merging with McDonnell Douglas in 1997. Boeing Corporate headquarters has been in Chicago, Illinois since 2001...

 and Science Applications International Corporation
Science Applications International Corporation
SAIC is a FORTUNE 500 scientific, engineering and technology applications company headquartered in the United States with numerous federal, state, and private sector clients...

 (SAIC) worked together as the lead systems integrator, coordinating more than 550 contractors and subcontractors in 41 states.

A spiral model
Spiral model
The spiral model is a software development process combining elements of both design and prototyping-in-stages, in an effort to combine advantages of top-down and bottom-up concepts. Also known as the spiral lifecycle model , it is a systems development method used in information technology...

 was planned for FCS development and upgrades. As of 2004, FCS was in the System Development and Demonstration (SDD) phase, which included four two-year spirals. Spiral 1 was to begin fielding in Fiscal Year 2008 and consist of prototypes for use and evaluation. Following successful evaluation, production and fielding of Spiral 2 would have commenced in 2010. The evaluation was conducted by the Army Evaluation Task Force (AETF), previously known as Evaluation Brigade Combat Team (EBCT), stationed in Fort Bliss
Fort Bliss
Fort Bliss is a United States Army post in the U.S. states of New Mexico and Texas. With an area of about , it is the Army's second-largest installation behind the adjacent White Sands Missile Range. It is FORSCOM's largest installation, and has the Army's largest Maneuver Area behind the...

. As of December 2007, AETF consisted of 1,000 soldiers from the 1st Armored Division
1st Armored Division (United States)
The 1st Armored Division—nicknamed "Old Ironsides"—is a standing armored division of the United States Army with base of operations in Fort Bliss, Texas. It was the first armored division of the U.S...


In August 2005, the program met 100% of the criteria in its most important milestone to date, Systems of Systems Functional Review. On October 5, 2005, Pentagon team recommended "further delaying the Army's Future Combat Systems program" in light of the costs of the Iraq War, Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina
Hurricane Katrina of the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season was a powerful Atlantic hurricane. It is the costliest natural disaster, as well as one of the five deadliest hurricanes, in the history of the United States. Among recorded Atlantic hurricanes, it was the sixth strongest overall...

, and expected declines in future budgets.

The Pentagon announced plans in January 2006 to cut $236 million over five years from the $25 billion FCS 2007-2011 budget. The entire program was expected to cost $340 billion. As of late December 2006, funding was scaled back for critical elements of the overall FCS battlespace, and the most advanced elements were deferred.

The program had completed about one-third of its development as of 2008, which had been planned to run through 2030. Technical field tests began in 2008. The first combat brigade equipped with FCS had been expected to roll out around 2015, followed by full production to equip up to 15 brigades by 2030. However, the program had not met the initial 2004 plan of fielding the first FCS-equipped unit in 2008.

On April 6, 2009, President Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

's Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates
Robert Gates
Dr. Robert Michael Gates is a retired civil servant and university president who served as the 22nd United States Secretary of Defense from 2006 to 2011. Prior to this, Gates served for 26 years in the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Council, and under President George H. W....

 announced plans to cut FCS spending as part of a shift toward spending more on counter-terrorism and less to prepare for conventional warfare against large states like China and Russia. This included, but was not limited to, cancelling the series of Manned Ground Vehicles.

In May 2009, the proposed DoD budget for fiscal year 2010 has minimal funding for Manned Ground Vehicles research. The Army plans to restart from the beginning on manned ground vehicles. The service is to restructure FCS so more Army units will be supported.

The DoD released a memorandum on 23 June 2009 that cancelled the Future Combat Systems program and replaced it with separate programs under the Army Brigade Combat Team Modernization
BCT Modernization
The Brigade combat team Modernization is the United States Army's principal modernization program for Brigade combat teams from 2009 to the present...

 umbrella to meet the Army's plans.

Active Subsystems

The following subsystems were swept into the Brigade Combat Team Modernization Program
BCT Modernization
The Brigade combat team Modernization is the United States Army's principal modernization program for Brigade combat teams from 2009 to the present...

  • FCS Network
    FCS Network
    The FCS Network - Brigade Combat Team Network consists of 5 layers that combine to provide seamless delivery of data to forward-deployed Army units....

  • Future Force Warrior
    Future Force Warrior
    Future Force Warrior is a United States military advanced technology demonstration project that is part of the Future Combat Systems project. The FFW project seeks to create a lightweight, fully integrated infantryman combat system. It is one technology demonstration project in a series of...

  • Vehicles
  • Manned Ground Vehicles
    Future Combat Systems manned ground vehicles
    The Future Combat Systems Manned Ground Vehicles was a family of lighter and more transportable ground vehicles developed by BAE Systems Inc and General Dynamics as part of the United States Army's Future Combat Systems program. The ground vehicles were to be based on a common tracked vehicle...

     (canceled along with FCS superseded with the Ground Combat Vehicle program)
  • XM1201 Reconnaissance and Surveillance Vehicle (RSV)
  • XM1202 Mounted Combat System (MCS)
  • XM1203 Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon (NLOS-C)
  • XM1204 Non-Line-of-Sight Mortar (NLOS-M)
  • XM1205 Recovery and Maintenance Vehicle (FRMV)
  • XM1206 Infantry Carrier Vehicle (ICV)
  • XM1207 Medical Vehicle-Evacuation (MV-E)
  • XM1208 Medical Vehicle-Treatment (MV-T)
  • XM1209 Command and Control Vehicle (C2V)

  • Multifunctional Utility/Logistics and Equipment vehicle (swept into BCT Modernization and subsequently canceled)

  • XM1219 ARV
  • XM1218 Countermine
  • XM1217 Transport

  • XM1216 Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle (SUGV) (swept into BCT Modernization)
  • XM156 Class I Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (swept into BCT Modernization and subsequently canceled)

  • Class II UAVs for Companies (canceled early on)
  • Class III UAVs for Battalions (canceled early on)
  • XM157 Class IV Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (swept into BCT Modernization and subsequently canceled)

  • Devices

  • Intelligent Munitions System
    Intelligent Munitions System
    Intelligent Munitions System was a smart system being developed by General Dynamics and the US Army TACOM-ARDEC Picatinny Centre....

     (canceled early on)
  • XM501 Non-Line-of-Sight Launch System
    XM501 Non-Line-of-Sight Launch System
    The Non-Line of Sight Launch System was a self-contained missile launcher system that was under development by NETFIRES LLC, a partnership between Lockheed Martin and Raytheon. Each Container Launch Unit holds 15 missiles, and a self-locating networked communications system...

     (swept into BCT Modernization and subsequently canceled)
  • AN/PSW-2 Common System Controller (CC)
  • Unattended Ground Sensors
    Unattended Ground Sensors
    This article describes Unattended Ground Sensors under development as part of the United States Army's Future Combat Systems Program. For information on currently fielded UGS systems, refer to the Current Force UGS Program or CF UGS....

     (UGS) (swept into BCT Modernization and subsequently canceled)

Operating system

FCS was networked via an advanced architecture, called System of Systems Common Operating Environment (SOSCOE) that would enable enhanced joint connectivity and situational awareness (see Network-centric warfare
Network-centric warfare
Network-centric warfare, also called network-centric operations, is a military doctrine or theory of war pioneered by the United States Department of Defense in the 1990's....

). SOSCOE targets x86-Linux
Linux is a Unix-like computer operating system assembled under the model of free and open source software development and distribution. The defining component of any Linux system is the Linux kernel, an operating system kernel first released October 5, 1991 by Linus Torvalds...

, VxWorks
VxWorks is a real-time operating system developed as proprietary software by Wind River Systems of Alameda, California, USA. First released in 1987, VxWorks is designed for use in embedded systems.- History :...

, and LynxOS
The LynxOS RTOS is a Unix-like real-time operating system from LynuxWorks . Sometimes known as the Lynx Operating System, LynxOS features full POSIX conformance and, more recently, Linux compatibility...

. The FCS (BCT) network consists of five layers that when combined would provide seamless delivery of data: The Standards, Transport, Services, Applications, and Sensors and Platforms Layers. The FCS (BCT) network possesses the adaptability and management functionality required to maintain pertinent services, while the FCS (BCT) fights on a rapidly shifting battlespace giving them the advantage to take initiative. FCS would network existing systems, systems already under development, and systems to be developed.

See also

  • Future Force Unit of Action
    Future Force Unit of action
    The Future Force Unit of Action will be the United States Army’s tactical warfighting echelon. Although optimized for offensive operations, the Future Combat Systems equipped Unit of Action will have the ability to execute a full spectrum of operations...

  • List of U.S. military vehicles by model number
  • Simulation & Modeling for Acquisition, Requirements, and Training
    Simulation & Modeling for Acquisition, Requirements, and Training
    Simulation & Modeling for Acquisition, Requirements, and Training is a program that was discontinued by the United States Army in 2005.All public access to any SMART-related documents were removed at that time but have started to resurface....

  • United States Army Simulation and Training Technology Center
    United States Army Simulation and Training Technology Center
    The United States Army Simulation and Training Technology Center provide the United States Department of Defense and United States Department of Homeland Security with state-of-the-art applied research to develop simulation technologies, build on current simulation knowledge, and understand system...

External links

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