June 2006 
Volume 05, Issue 2  
Integrated Defense Systems

Advancing toward deployment

FCS team on track to deliver transformative technologies to Army


Eva Ford and Jacob Ford are shown in the Command and Control center of the System of Systems Integration LabFuture Combat System—the centerpiece program of U.S. Army modernization—recently completed a virtual exercise in which the individual components of FCS operated together for the first time.

This debut simulation event, called Integrated Mission Test Zero (IMT-0), was intended to validate that FCS people, processes, procedures and products were all aligned to meet program needs for future integration events. IMT-0 marks a major step forward for the FCS System of Systems. Its success brings closer the day U.S. forces will operate in an information-rich battle space where threats are identified more rapidly, understood more fully and targeted more precisely.

FCS is a system of systems that will link 18 separate military platforms via a distributed information network. The result will be a battlefield where information plays a starring role, reducing the confusion and uncertainty that have characterized warfare over the ages.

FCS components

Future Combat System is a system of systems with many individual parts. The System of Systems Common Operating Environment (SoSCOE), the program's expansive network, links these components, creating an integrated whole that provides the Army with new capabilities. The whole is significantly greater than the sum of the parts in FCS, which is often described as a program of 18+1+1: the platforms, the network and the soldier.

In addition to SoSCOE, FCS includes:
• Eight manned and armored ground vehicles.
• Six unmanned ground vehicles.
• Four robotic air vehicles.
• A suite of intelligent munitions.
• Unattended ground sensor arrays with state-of- the-art detection capabilities.

These systems cover the spectrum of combat functions and capabilities. Smaller and lighter than today's conventional equivalents, they are transportable by C-130 aircraft. Modular for easy repair, they share common components for simplified logistical support. Built-in diagnostics and interactive technical manuals in the equipment ensure capabilities are always available.

The backbone of FCS is the System of Systems Common Operating Environment, a software system that will link future Army Brigade Combat Teams with one another, their remote assets, external knowledge centers and other friendly forces.

IMT-0 pitted friendly Blue Forces against hostile Red Forces in mock combat operations conducted in virtual battlespace. This pioneering exercise employed software models that depicted the ground vehicles and other FCS platforms now being developed.

Boeing Software Engineer Bryon Adamo was on the team that received those models from its FCS One Team partners and integrated them into the simulation. "It was a huge challenge, but we engineers are born problem solvers, and I enjoyed every minute of it," he said of his experience.

The nerve center of IMT-0 was the FCS System of Systems Integration Laboratory at Huntington Beach, Calif. Program personnel—including eight active-duty Army soldiers—"crewed" the virtual vehicles on the digital battlefield and otherwise participated in this learning exercise.

"This test achieved all its stated objectives," said Frank De Mattia, Boeing FCS site lead and senior program director in Southern California. "Its success shows that our large, geographically distributed team properly stood up the four Ps—the parts, processes, people and paper or documentation—and that they work together as planned."

The FCS One Team is led by Boeing and its partner, Science Applications International Corporation. The One Team includes 23 first-tier suppliers, each an acknowledged leader in its field, along with the Army's experts. The FCS program is valued at more than $20 billion through the entire System Development and Demonstration Phase, which began in 2003 and concludes with the Initial Operating Capability of an FCS-equipped Brigade Combat Team in December 2014. Before then, the U.S. Army will receive selected FCS capabilities in four technology "Spin Outs" scheduled for Fiscal Years '08, '10, '12, and '14.


Front Page
Contact Us | Site Map| Site Terms | Privacy | Copyright
Copyright© Boeing. All rights reserved.