FCS a step closer to reality

Boeing and Science Applications International Corporation together the Lead Systems Integrator for the US Army’s Future Combat Systems (FCS) program, have successfully completed Integrated Mission Test-1 (IMT-1), verifying that the integration of FCS systems and Battle Command software is proceeding as planned.
The test, conducted in January at the FCS Common Control Node at White Sands Missile Range, caps more than two years of software development, integration and testing involving nearly every FCS Integrated Product Team and One Team Partner, as well as soldiers from the Army Evaluation Task Force (AETF) at Fort Bliss, Texas. The AETF is evaluating and testing FCS capabilities for incremental fielding and the development of full FCS Brigade Combat Teams.
“Integrated Mission Test-1 marks another milestone toward the program’s goal of allowing soldiers to operate in an information-rich battlespace where threats can be identified more rapidly, understood more fully and targeted more precisely,” said Boeing Vice President and FCS Program Manager Gregg Martin.

The test involved nearly 400 computers, 30 unique mock-ups of FCS Manned Ground Vehicles, 45 soldiers, and more than 120 industry, Army and other government personnel.

During the test, soldiers crewed mock-ups of Manned Ground Vehicles during simulated operational missions that used advanced simulations of FCS systems and network capabilities. The purpose was to validate early prototypes of FCS Battle Command and System software by soliciting soldier feedback and analyzing how they executed the missions.

Feedback was also obtained on FCS Warfighter Machine Interface displays, which provided soldiers with a common operating picture of the operational environment as they conducted simulated operational tasks.
“During this integrated mission test, soldiers from the AETF worked with our engineers on the design and functionality of FCS Battle Command software as they executed tactical missions in a simulated, contemporary operational environment cluttered with military and civilian vehicles as well as vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices,” said Rick Greenwell, Boeing FCS director for Integrated Phases, Simulation and Test.
“Through participation in these exercises and their relevant combat experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan, the soldiers provided invaluable recommendations on everything from FCS vehicle ergonomics to how we display and move information within the Battle Command network.”

The FCS program consists of eight new Manned Ground Vehicles, unmanned air and ground vehicles, precision weapon systems, and advanced tactical and urban sensors that are connected by a state-of-the-art wireless network. Working together, these systems will help soldiers share real-time information across the battlefield. Overall, FCS will provide soldiers vastly increased situational awareness, survivability and lethality, ensuring they can take the fight to the enemy before the enemy has time to react.