Boeing [NYSE: BA] and partner Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), Lead Systems Integrator for the U.S. Army's Future Combat Systems (FCS) program, with industry teammates BAE Systems and General Dynamics, have selected Elgin, Okla., as a principal site for FCS Manned Ground Vehicle (MGV) integration and assembly work.
FCS MGV partner BAE Systems will construct and manage a 150,000 square-foot facility at the Ft. Sill Industrial Park in Elgin. The facility will initially house production integration and assembly activities for the Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon (NLOS-C) initial production platform, the first of eight FCS vehicle variants. Completion of the new facility is anticipated in 2009.
"The selection of Elgin represents a collaborative effort by industry, government and community leaders to bring growth to the region and to develop and field a family of more survivable, more agile and more sustainable MGVs that will provide unprecedented benefits to our soldiers," said Dennis Muilenburg, vice president-general manager, Boeing Combat Systems, and FCS program manager. "The FCS MGV effort is on track and transitioning into the advanced stages of development and initial production, and Elgin and the state of Oklahoma will play an essential role in helping the FCS One Team achieve a common goal of getting FCS capabilities into the hands of warfighters as soon as possible."
"I am extremely pleased that Boeing and the FCS team are bringing this important work to Elgin," said Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.). "The Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon is the first of several FCS manned ground vehicles to be produced for the U.S. Army that will ensure our soldiers have battlefield capabilities second to none."
The FCS MGV family, developed in partnership with BAE Systems and General Dynamics, significantly enhances soldier survivability and shares commonality of parts, which dramatically reduces vehicle development and production time as well as logistics requirements. One example of the advanced technology used by FCS MGVs is the integrated hybrid-electric propulsion system -- the first of its kind to be used in operational Army ground combat vehicles. The FCS team this month successfully demonstrated the maturity of the technology in an end-to-end full power test of the system.
The Army recently authorized planning for FCS low-rate initial production, which includes long-lead items for the NLOS-C initial production platform. The NLOS-C, designed to provide a networked, extended range precision attack capability against point and area targets, will be fielded in 2010 according to a Congressional mandate. 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 first NLOS-C pre-production prototype vehicle is scheduled to roll out in spring 2008.
In addition to Elgin, MGV component subassembly, and vehicle integration assembly and test activities, will be conducted at partner facilities in Lima, Ohio and York, Pa., before vehicles are transferred to Fort Bliss, Texas, and White Sands Missile Range, N.M., for system-of-systems verification testing by the Army Evaluation Task Force.