Boeing- and SAIC-led Industry Team, Future Combat Systems Program Complete Integration of 1st Manned Ground Vehicle Prototype
ST. LOUIS, June 11, 2008 -- Boeing [NYSE: BA] and Science Applications International Corp. [NYSE: SAI], together the Lead Systems Integrator (LSI) for the U.S. Army's Future Combat Systems (FCS) program, today announced the successful integration and public debut of the first FCS Manned Ground Vehicle (MGV) prototype -- the Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon (NLOS-C).
Featuring a two-man artillery crew, the NLOS-C prototype is the first of eight FCS MGV variants and is designed to deliver precision munitions in urban and conventional battlespace environments. The NLOS-C uses advanced networked technologies that enable warfighters to quickly fire on targets with precision, as well as an automated loading system, projectile tracking and hybrid propulsion. The prototype will be on display at the National Mall in Washington, D.C., and the Pentagon in Arlington, Va., this week during Army Birthday activities.
"The NLOS-C prototype unveiling is the result of a collaborative effort by Army and industry to deliver a networked, precision-fire capability that will provide soldiers with unprecedented technological advantages in both irregular and conventional engagements," said Gregg Martin, Boeing vice president and FCS program manager. "The MGV team exemplifies the FCS 'best of industry' approach, bringing to bear the expertise of the LSI, vehicle developers BAE Systems and General Dynamics, and a vast team of suppliers to develop and deliver a networked family of vehicles that will connect and protect our soldiers -- both current and future."
The NLOS-C is the first of a family of FCS Manned Ground Vehicles that will all employ a common chassis and maximize the use of common parts and subsystems. Overall, FCS vehicles will require less fuel and logistics support than current-force vehicles. As directed by Congress, eight NLOS-C prototypes will be produced at locations in York, Pa.; Santa Clara, Calif.; Minneapolis, Minn.; Lima, Ohio; Elgin, Okla.; and Sterling Heights, Mich., and will undergo testing, safety certification and evaluations at various Army test facilities.
The completion of NLOS-C integration marks the most recent in a series of accomplishments for the FCS program. In March, the FCS One Team successfully completed the Technical Field Test (TFT), the first in a series of test activities planned for "Spin Out 1" systems that validated FCS interoperability with current-force systems. This industry-led activity, conducted in a field environment at White Sands Missile Range, N.M., was designed to test the FCS network and its ability to interoperate across the system-of-systems. Current-force vehicles equipped with FCS network interoperability, or "B-kits," interfaced with Urban and Tactical Unattended Ground Sensors (UGS) that were placed in buildings and on the desert floor, enabling information exchange and enhancing situational awareness of the location of "enemy" assets.
The TFT was followed in May by Force Development Testing & Evaluation, an activity led by the Army's Training and Doctrine Command that was designed to evaluate new and existing tactics, doctrine, training, organizations and logistics -- providing data that will help refine broader doctrinal processes associated with FCS capabilities. This summer, the Army Test and Evaluation Command (ATEC) will conduct a Spin Out 1 Limited User Test, an independent soldier evaluation of FCS system capabilities as they perform required tasks and missions in an operationally realistic live and virtual environment.
In addition, FCS represented the Army's main effort in the U.S. Air Force-led Joint Expeditionary Force Experiment (JEFX) 2008. FCS formed the ground component of JEFX by enabling near real-time threat data to be available on the network and enabling shared situational awareness between ground and air assets. The experiment, which culminated in April, demonstrated the ability to call for joint network fires to engage targets that FCS sensors acquired in real- and near real-time, spanning the joint and coalition tactical, operational and strategic operating picture.
"The FCS industry team, working together with the Army, has achieved tremendous success this year, conducting soldier testing of early FCS capabilities and providing valuable feedback that will be incorporated back into the program as a risk mitigation measure," Martin said. "The NLOS-C debut further demonstrates that FCS is reality, and that the FCS One Team is committed to equipping Brigade Combat Teams with better equipment and unmatched situational awareness that will dramatically change the way the Army fights."
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