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The Future Combat System (FCS) program should receive proper investment with regard to its requirements and timeframes. As a rule, any change presupposes the work of qualified professionals and development of new facilities. In the case of the FCS the Army could take the necessary budget requests from the Office of the Secretary of
Defense, as reported in the GAO report and extend the timeframe in order to hire highly qualified worker that would develop the network necessary for operation of the new program for it was supposed to be “a joint … networked … system of systems … connected via an advanced network architecture that will enable levels of joint connectivity, situational awareness and understanding, and synchronized operations heretofore unachievable.” It is obvious that the initial plan of the Army could fail because “In 2003, the Army contracted with an LSI for FCS because of the program’s ambitious goals and the Army’s belief that it did not have the capacity to manage the program.”
The major argument against FCS was based on the amount of money that the program uses ($90 billion) and its unrealistic design of fighting against a conventional force. FCS was designed to equip troops with manned vehicles, unmanned systems, and a fast and flexible attacking system, as well as other battlefield gear. Thus, it was necessary to cut the spending because the management of the project could not develop the FCS on time, while any delay in development expended costs on maintenance and operation of the facilities and personnel. Delays are impossible in such work, so, the decision to cancel the program was made in the 2009. An alternative option seemed to be more realistic with regard to the timeframes and relevance of the decision.
Ineffectiveness of the System
The effectiveness of the program was brought into question because “the portion of the FCS program to field new manned combat vehicles did not adequately reflect the lessons of counterinsurgency and close quarters combat in Iraq and Afghanistan,” as claimed by Secretary Robert M. Gates. Any ineffective or irrelevant gear should not be developed through spending the budget costs and engaging professionals to work on the project which cannot be completed.
Though the Future Combat System program has been cancelled, it is necessary to mention an alternative option that the Department of Defense has chosen. The alternative presupposes that the major change will appear concerning the training of military men that will acquire knowledge according to certain integrated programs which “include one to spin out the initial increment of the FCS program to seven infantry brigades in the near term and additional programs for information and communications networks, unmanned ground and air vehicles and sensors, and an integration effort aimed at follow-on spinouts to all Army brigades.” The development of unmanned vehicles turned out to be more effective and prospective than the development of the Future Combat System program.
The Future Combat System program was cancelled because of the inappropriateness, ineffectiveness, and irrelevance. It was impossible to further expand costs spent on the development of this project because any delay causes increasing of budget costs on the maintenance of equipment. Thus, an alternative decision was made. The alternative presupposes that the manned vehicles should be developed instead of the unmanned ones.
“Future of Combat System.” (2006). Lead Systems Integrator, Logistics Requirements and Readiness IPT. System Development and Demonstration Phase. Data Product DP025.
GAO. (2007). Role of Lead Systems Integrator on Future Combat Systems Program Poses Oversight Challenges. Report to Congressional Committees.
“US Army’s Future Combat System (FCS) Program Cancelled.” (2009). Web.
White Paper. (2007). CGSC. Fcs-14-1-1. PDF.