The Army's future combat systems in a nutshell

RELEASE PHASES:

Spinout 1: Unattended Ground systems, Non-Line-of-Sight Launch System, Network Capability kits. This includes FCS computers, communications and command software for the Abrams, Bradley and HMMWV. Prototype testing is to begin in summer 2008; final release is in 2010.

Spinout 2: Active Protection Systems and Manned Ground Vehicle Mast Mounted Sensor for Stryker vehicles. This includes equipping existing armored units with FCS capabilities. Small Unmanned Ground Vehicle and Unmanned Aerial Systems might also be available on this schedule. Prototype testing is to begin in 2010; availability is in 2012.

Spinout 3: Three variants of Multifunction Utility/Logistics, Equipment vehicles, controller units and battle command software to replace existing Army Battle Command Systems for current forces. Technical testing is to begin in fiscal 2011; prototype testing is in 2012.

Total number of systems under development: 14.

Expected cost (Army/Boeing estimate): $164 billion.

Expected deployment date: Beginning in 2010.

FCS initiative launch (research and proposals): 1999.

Current FCS launch (product development): 2003.

PRODUCT CATEGORIES:

Unattended Ground Sensors: Signal intelligence units to be placed into sensitive areas, covertly observing enemy or insurgent activity using a variety of sensing methods, reporting automatically via radio frequency data connections. Different sensor units are slated for urban and nonurban environments.

Weight: Less than 25 pounds; man-portable.

Deployment method: Hand-carried, robot-deployment, vehicle drop. Senor types: Black-and-white camera, infrared, magnetic, acoustic, seismic.

Status: Field tests performed in March and April.

Availability: Spinout to active duty is slated for 2010.

Manufacturer: Textron.

UNATTENDED MUNITIONS:

Non-Line-of-Sight Launch System: This is a self-contained missile system that can be air-dropped or placed anywhere on the battlefield and operated remotely by using location data transmitted from controllers to identify a target location. Guidance systems in the missile itself control its flight. Each unit can hold as many as 16 missiles.

Manufacturer: Raytheon.

UNMANNED AERIAL SYSTEM (UAS)

This is comprised of two versions of remote-controlled observation units that are designed to accompany troops on the battlefield to get low-risk aerial views of the ground around them and the location of threats.

Class I UAS: This is used for platoon-level short-range reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition, target designation, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance. Semi-autonomous operation. R/F network connections.

Sensors: Optical, infrared.

Mobility: Turbo-fan-driven hover, fly and land by remote control.

Armament: None.

Availability: Field tests in March and April; general availability expected in 2009.

Manufacturer: Honeywell.

Class IV UAS (Fire Scout): This provides brigade-level reconnaissance, surveillance, target acquisition, communications relay, chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear detection, weather survey, network relay node.

Sensors: Optical, infrared.

Mobility: Helicopter. Rotors.

Additional sensor payloads: synthetic aperture radar (SAR) ground-moving target indication (GMTI), meteorological survey, acoustic sensors.

Armament: None.

Availability: Field tests in March and April 2008; general availability expected in 2009.

Manufacturer: Northrop Grumman.

UNMANNED GROUND VEHICLES

Small UGV (SUGV): This provides reconnaissance for Military Operations on Urbanized Terrain, and subterranean areas; remote-controlled, hand-carryable tracked robot vehicle to locate threats and explore areas too dangerous to send troops.

Weight: 30 pounds.

Armament: Potentially non-lethal systems; manipulator arm to defuse bombs.

Sensors: Optical, infrared, laser target designation, nuclear/biological/chemical detection.

Manufacturer: iRobot.

Availability: Field tests in March and April 2008; general availability expected in 2012.

Multifunction Utility/Logistics Equipment Vehicle: This is a motorized, heavy duty, go cart-sized vehicle designed to carry heavy loads into combat areas, including supplies and heavy weapons. It is designed to accompany troops as supply carrier, or be controlled remotely as a weapons platform, mine detector and disposal unit.

Weight: 2.5 tons.

Sensors: Optical, infrared, laser range finder/designator.

Navigation: Autonomous navigation and articulating suspension.

Armament: Machine guns, Javelin anti-tank available in some configurations.

MANNED GROUND VEHICLES:

Command and Control Vehicle: This is a tracked, armored unit designed to carry command staff and act as network node for sensors, vehicles and troops.

Crew: Two, plus four mission specialists.

Armament: MK19, M2.

Weight: Multimodal transportable.

Manufacturer: General Dynamics.

Reconnaissance and Surveillance Vehicle: It is more heavily armed, armored, tracked unit designed for forward reconnaissance and target designation and control. It provides a platform for target designation in complex battlefields, hunter/killer capability, and to act as network node.

Crew: two, with four dismounted scouts.

Armament: MK44 30MM, M240.

Weight: Multimodal transportable.

Manufacturer: General Dynamics.

Availability: 2011.

Infantry Combat Vehicle (ICV): This vehicle is built on similar platform to the previous two vehicles; the ICV acts as tracked, armored transport for an infantry squad, with fire support, network communications support.

Crew: Two, with nine infantry riding inside.

Armament: MK44 30mm, M240.

Weight: Multimodal transportable.

Manufacturer: BAE Systems.

Mounted Combat System (MCS): This is the heaviest version of the FCS’ tracked, armored manned ground units. Provides offensive capability close to enemy forces, with line-of-sight and beyond-LOS firing capabilities and network- node connectivity for other FCS elements.

Crew: Three.

Armament: 120mm main gun, MK19, M2.

Weight: Multimodal transportable.

Availability: 2011.

Manufacturer: General Dynamics.

Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon (NLOS-C): This weapon provides artillery support to FCS units in a heavy, tracked, armored unit.

Crew: Two.

Armament: 155mm cannon; MK 19, M2.

Gross Weight: Multimodal transportable.

Availability: 2011.

Manufacturer: BAE Systems.

Non-Line-of-Light Mortar (NLOS-M): This tracked, armored unit provides short-range fire support to assault units and network connectivity.

Crew: Three.

Armament: 120 mm mortar, MK 19, M2

Weight: Multimodal transportable.

Manufacturer: BAE Systems.

Availability: 2012.

Medical Vehicle – Evacuation (MV-E) and Treatment (MV-T): This assaultsupport platform provides medical support, transport and network connectivity for FCS-equipped units.

Crew: MV-E 3, MV-T 4.

Armament: None.

Capacity: 4 litters or 6 ambulatory casualties.

Weight: Multimodal transportable.

Availability: 2012.

Manufacturer: BAE Systems.

FCS Recovery and Maintenance Vehicle (FRMV): This a tracked, armored unit designed to provide mechanical support and maintenance for the FCS combat team and space for two passengers.

Crew: Three.

Armament: MK 19, M2.

Weight: Multimodal transportable.

Availability: 2012.

Manufacturer: BAE Systems.

Reader Comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Your Name:(optional)
Your Email:(optional)
Your Location:(optional)
Comment:
Please type the letters/numbers you see above