Issues Facing the Army's Future Combat Systems Program

Published by the Government Accountability Office on 2003-08-13.

Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)

United States General Accounting Office
Washington, DC 20548

          August 13, 2003

          The Honorable Curt Weldon
          The Honorable Neil Abercrombie
          Ranking Minority Member
          Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces
          Committee on Armed Services
          House of Representatives

          Subject: Issues Facing the Army’s Future Combat Systems Program

          In October 1999, the Army announced plans to transform into a more strategically
          responsive force that could more rapidly deploy and effectively operate in all types of
          military operations, whether small-scale contingencies or major theater wars. The
          Future Combat Systems (FCS) program is to provide the suite of weaponry and other
          equipment for the transformed force. The Army plans to develop a family of 18
          systems under the FCS program. Because of its size, the FCS program will dominate
          the Army’s investment accounts over the next decade.

          In July 2002, we began to review the FCS program as the program was approaching a
          decision on whether to start the system development and demonstration (SDD)
          phase—referred to as the milestone B decision. On April 10, 2003, we briefed staff of
          the House Committee on Armed Services on our work and provided a copy of the
          briefing to the staff of the Senate Armed Services Committee. We also briefed Army
          and DOD officials associated with the FCS program. The objectives of the briefing
          were to provide (1) an understanding of the content, approach, and schedule of the
          FCS program; (2) observations on both the positive and challenging features of the
          program; and (3) different approaches to proceeding with FCS that warrant
          consideration. The enclosure contains the briefing slides.

          On May 17, 2003, the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology, and
          Logistics) approved the Army’s request to begin the SDD phase for the FCS program.
          He directed the Army to perform a full milestone B update in November 2004 to
          obtain authority to continue SDD and to authorize prototype production. He also
          listed 14 actions items to be completed prior to the milestone update.

          We believe the issues raised in our briefing remain relevant as the FCS program
          begins the SDD phase. Because of your committees’ interest in the FCS program, we

                                                                  GAO-03-1010R FCS Program Issues
are enclosing the full briefing with this report and summarizing it in the following


Under its transformation efforts, the Army plans to change the way it organizes,
trains, deploys, and equips its forces. It expects the future force to be organized
around brigade-size units that perform virtually all Army combat functions.1 The
Army wants to fully equip these units with FCS, a family of 18 networked, war-
fighting systems which are intended to be more lethal, survivable, deployable, and
sustainable than existing heavy combat systems. In order to deploy faster, the FCS
vehicles are expected to be a fraction of the weight of existing heavy armored
fighting vehicles. The Army believes that nontraditional fighting tactics coupled with
an extensive information network will compensate for the loss of size and armor
mass by utilizing information superiority and synchronized operations to see, engage,
and destroy the enemy before the enemy detects the future forces.

The Army has allocated about $22 billion for the FCS program during fiscal years
2004 through 2009 and several billions more for non-FCS programs that the FCS will
need to become fully capable. In addition, the Army recently implemented FCS
schedule changes, which added about 2 years to the SDD phase.

Features and Challenges of the FCS Concept

The FCS program has several progressive features, but also faces a number of
challenges. The FCS concept shows that the Army leadership is thinking innovatively
to arrive at the best ways to prepare for future Army operations. For example, Army
leaders decided to include interoperability with other systems in the FCS design and
design the individual FCS systems to work as part of a networked system-of-systems.
These features represent an improvement over the past approach of developing
individual systems first and then attempting to integrate them later, an approach that
could lead to schedule and cost growth. The system-of-systems approach also allows
program managers more flexibility to make trade-offs among the individual systems.
Collectively, the system-of-systems could still provide an effective combat capability
even if some of the individual system capabilities are lost or degraded. In addition,
the Army has adopted best practice tools to measure the progress of technology
development. For example, it is employing technology readiness levels to measure
the maturity of technologies being considered for FCS components.

The acquisition strategy for the FCS is aggressive, particularly in light of the
program’s vast scope. The SDD phase began with more risk present than
recommended by best practices or DOD guidance. For example, many critical
technologies were significantly immature and will require further development at the
same time as product development is conducted. This concurrent development

 According to Army planning documents, Special Forces, Rangers, and airborne forces are the only
combat formations that will continue to perform their current missions and not be replaced in the
future force.

2                                                                GAO-03-1010R FCS Program Issues
increases the risk of cost growth and schedule delays. Since FCS will dominate the
Army’s investment accounts over the next decade, any cost growth and schedule
delays could affect the entire Army.

Even with the recent extension of SDD by about 2 years, the FCS strategy calls for
developing multiple systems and a network in less time than DOD typically needs to
develop a single advanced system. In addition, a favorable decision to begin SDD on
a system-of-systems like FCS poses challenges for the acquisition process such as
defining and evaluating requirements, analyzing alternatives, estimating and tracking
costs, conducting test and evaluation, and conducting oversight.

Options for Proceeding with FCS

In our briefing, we noted that while proceeding with FCS as planned posed significant
challenges, doing nothing would not allow the Army to meet its transformation
objectives. Moreover, if each of the 18 FCS systems and the network were managed
as traditional, individual programs, it could weaken the architecture and would
amount to controlled evolution versus transformation.

We offered three options for proceeding with FCS at lower risk. Each option involves
trade-offs or consequences, as indicated below.

    Proposed Action                           Potential Consequences

    Further mature key technologies before    Reduces risk and increases knowledge
    entering SDD.                             but could delay system integration and

    Use advanced technology                   Accelerates development of least
    demonstrations to mature key              mature and most complex technologies
    technologies.                             but could delay fielding.

    Approve FCS architecture while            Provides a better fit with the acquisition
    implementing a knowledge-based            process and more opportunity to
    approach for incorporating individual     change course if planned progress is
    systems into SDD.                         not made. Could increase the difficulty
                                              of maintaining the integrity of the
                                              system of systems and reduce flexibility
                                              to make decisions across system lines.

Agency Comments

In early April 2003, we discussed a draft of the briefing at length with Army and DOD
officials and revised the briefing as appropriate. We recently provided a draft of this

3                                                        GAO-03-1010R FCS Program Issues
letter and enclosed briefing to DOD for review and comment. In official oral
comments, DOD officials stated that there were no objections to the content of the
letter and briefing.

Scope and Methodology

We focused our assessment on the Army’s strategy for developing and acquiring FCS
and compared it with knowledge-based acquisition principles. Specifically, we
examined (1) the technologies the Army has proposed for FCS and (2) the challenges
associated with developing a complex system-of-systems. We reviewed relevant
program documents and interviewed key officials to understand the FCS concept and
determine the Army’s strategy for developing and acquiring FCS. We met with
officials from the research and development commands to identify key technologies
the Army is considering for use in FCS.2 We conducted our work from July 2002 to
June 2003 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards.

We plan to provide copies of this report to the Senate Armed Services Committee; the
Senate Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Defense; and the House
Committee on Appropriations, Subcommittee on Defense. We also will provide
copies to the Director, Office of Management and Budget; the Secretary of Defense;
and the Secretary of the Army. We will make copies available to others upon request.

If you or your staff have any questions concerning this report, please contact me on
(202) 512-2811; or Bill Graveline, Assistant Director, on (256) 922-7514. Major
contributors to this correspondence are John David Anderson, Marcus Ferguson,
Lawrence Gaston, Thomas Gordon, and William Lipscomb.

Paul L. Francis
Director, Acquisition and Sourcing Management


 On April 28, 2003, the Institute for Defense Analysis issued a draft report of the Independent
Assessment Panel for Future Combat Systems, called the Welch Report. We could not include
information from that report in our briefing of April 10, 2003. The report, however, is being considered
in our ongoing work regarding FCS.

4                                                                  GAO-03-1010R FCS Program Issues
Enclosure                                         Enclosure

             Future Combat Systems

            Briefing by GAO
              April 2003


5                             GAO-03-1010R FCS Program Issues
Enclosure                                                          Enclosure

        Briefing Structure

        •   Understanding Future Combat Systems (FCS)
        •   Criteria For Knowledge-Based Acquisitions
        •   FCS Technologies
        •   Schedule for FCS Increment 1
        •   FCS Affordability
        •   FCS Program Review
        •   Observations
        •   Options


6                                              GAO-03-1010R FCS Program Issues
Enclosure                                                                 Enclosure

        Understanding FCS
        Army Transformation
        • Army is radically transforming its combat capabilities including
          culture, doctrine, personnel, training, and weapon systems. This
          transformation is predicated on Army Visions and Concepts, new
          unit designs, etc.

        • Army wants a force, called the Objective Force, that is agile,
          flexible, deployable, and mobile, yet as tough as the current heavy
          force. Its basic combat unit will be the Unit of Action.

        • The Objective Force means more than different equipment and
          organizations—for example, it means delegating decision-making
          authority to commanders close to the action.

        • The FCS acquisition program will provide most of the combat
          systems to equip the Objective Force.


7                                                     GAO-03-1010R FCS Program Issues
Enclosure                                                                  Enclosure

        Understanding FCS
        Transformation Demands of FCS
        • To meet the needs of transformation, FCS must be:

            • Lethal – equal to the current heavy force.

            • Survivable – equal to the current heavy force.

            • Deployable – within days, not months.

            • Sustainable – immediately and with a small logistical footprint.

        • FCS is expected to be a system of systems featuring advanced,
          networked air- and ground-based maneuver, maneuver-support,
          and sustainment systems that will include manned and unmanned


8                                                      GAO-03-1010R FCS Program Issues
Enclosure                                                             Enclosure

        Understanding FCS
        General Description
        • The smaller, lighter systems that enhance deployability will
          have to do the work of heavy systems. This requires:

            • New technologies that give conventional systems more
              capability (e.g., armor, munitions, and propulsion).

            • New technologies that provide unconventional capabilities
              (e.g., unmanned sensors, robotics).

            • A command, control, communications, computer,
              intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (C4ISR)
              network that substitutes information superiority and
              synchronized operations for mass and makes for a
              system of systems whose whole is greater than the sum
              of its parts.


9                                                 GAO-03-1010R FCS Program Issues
Enclosure                                                                      Enclosure

        Understanding FCS
        Key Features of FCS
        • FCS depends on light systems so they can deploy anywhere in the world

        • FCS systems are to roll off combat ready and self-sustaining for 3 to 7

        • Once deployed, the FCS will need to fight in nontraditional ways to be

        • The Network will be used to gain informational superiority, locate and
          identify the enemy, and kill at a distance before the enemy can engage the
          manned FCS systems.

        • FCS is expected to use advanced signature management and other
          techniques to avoid detection and advanced armors to survive the
          engagement if the enemy systems approach within direct fire range.


10                                                         GAO-03-1010R FCS Program Issues
Enclosure                                                           Enclosure

        Understanding FCS
        FCS Acquisition Strategy

        • Eventually replace all the heavy and interim combat
          units with the FCS-equipped objective force units.

        • Evolutionary acquisition focused on providing
          warfighters with an initial capability which can be
          delivered sooner than an ultimate capability.

        • Incremental or block approach using spiral development
          to reach full requirements.


11                                              GAO-03-1010R FCS Program Issues
Enclosure                                                                   Enclosure

        Understanding FCS
        FCS Acquisition Strategy (cont.)
        • Collaborative effort involving user, developer, testers, and industry
          in Integrated Product Teams (IPTs).

        • Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency lead agency in
          Concept and Technology Development (CTD) phase. Army will be
          the lead agency during the Systems Development and
          Demonstration (SDD) Phase.

        • Competitively selected Lead System Integrator (LSI) is responsible
          during CTD for identifying possible FCS technologies, performing
          trade studies, and developing a FCS system of systems
          architecture. LSI to continue during SDD.

        • Program documents are being concurrently developed for the
          upcoming milestone B decision point (Operational Requirements
          Document, Analysis of Alternatives, Baseline Cost Analysis).


12                                                      GAO-03-1010R FCS Program Issues
Enclosure                                                               Enclosure

            Understanding FCS
        FCS Key Performance Parameters

        • Operational Requirements Document for FCS increment 1 dated
          January 22, 2003 is under review by Joint Requirements Oversight

        • Operational Requirements Document contains seven Key
          Performance Parameters.
           • Joint interoperability
           • Networked battle command
           • Networked lethality
           • Transportability
           • Survivability
           • Sustainability and reliability
           • Training


13                                                  GAO-03-1010R FCS Program Issues
Enclosure                                                                 Enclosure

        Understanding FCS
        FCS Increment 1 Concept

        • Increment 1 of the FCS system of systems includes 18 direct
          systems plus the network.

        • FCS platforms will be networked via a joint C4ISR architecture to
          enable levels of situational understanding and synchronized
          operations heretofore unachievable.

        • Complementary systems are needed to provide capabilities to the
          Unit of Action and will have to stay synchronized with the FCS


14                                                    GAO-03-1010R FCS Program Issues
Enclosure                                                               Enclosure

        Understanding FCS
        Increment 1: 18 Direct FCS Systems
               Manned Systems                    Unmanned Systems

        • Command and Control Vehicle    • 4 types of Unmanned Aerial
                                           Vehicles classed by size
        • Infantry Carrier Vehicle       • 3 types of Unmanned Ground
        • Mounted Combat System            Vehicles
        • Non Line of Sight - Cannon         • Armed Robotic Vehicle
        • Non Line of Sight - Mortar         • Multi-Function Utility/Logistics
                                                Equipment Vehicle
        • Reconnaissance and                 • Small Unmanned Ground
          Surveillance Vehicle                  Vehicle
        • FCS Recovery and               • Unattended Ground Sensors
          Maintenance Vehicle            • Intelligent Munition System
        • Medical Vehicle                • Non-Line of Sight Launch System

               A Unit of Action will need 690 direct FCS systems.

15                                                  GAO-03-1010R FCS Program Issues
Enclosure                                                                 Enclosure

        Understanding FCS
        Network Concept
        • The Network is envisioned as a voice, data, and video
          communication, command, and intelligence system linking the unit
          commander and all levels within the unit of action including the
          individual vehicles and dismounted soldiers with:

            • All sources of intelligence including unattended ground
              sensors, dismounted soldiers, ground vehicles, aircraft, and
              space satellites.

            • All sources of combat firepower including systems both inside
              and outside the unit regardless of the services that owns them.

            • Members of the Joint, Interagency and/or Multinational
              Coalition forces.


16                                                    GAO-03-1010R FCS Program Issues
Enclosure                                                                 Enclosure

        Understanding FCS
        Network Concept (cont.)
        The FCS network will require
           • Obtaining and fusing imagery and other data from National and
             commercial assets (e.g. satellites), Army assets both within the
             unit of action and above the unit of action, and other services
           • Developing and networking unit of action assets such as
             unmanned aerial and ground vehicles, unmanned ground
             sensors, dismounted soldiers, and manned FCS vehicles.
           • Interoperability with the current Army radios and those of joint
             and multinational coalitions.
           • Access to and management of bandwidth to transfer vast
             amounts of information.
           • Two complementary programs--Joint Tactical Radio System
             (JTRS) and Warfighter Information Network – Tactical (WIN-T)
             are expected to enable the interoperability and increases in


17                                                    GAO-03-1010R FCS Program Issues
Enclosure                                                                                                                     Enclosure

       Understanding FCS – The Network

            •Multinational Force                    •Joint Force          Comm Assets       •Inter-Agency
                                                                                   ISR Assets

                                                                                 ISR Assets •TIBS
                                                                                 •TES       •TRAP
                                           Fire Assets                             •JSTARS •TRIXS
                                           •IDM                                                                           DoS
                   ISR Assets
                                                             AH-64                                                      Country
                                                             •IDM                                                        teams
                                                                                                 •JSOF C2
                                                 •UE                             ISR Assets
                     Legacy Stryker                      •UA RAH-66
                            •ABCS                            •IDM               Battle
                     Army                                                                             Comm Asset
                     •ABCS                                                                            •GIG teleport
                                   Soldier UAVs    •FCS
                                    ƒLW I, II
                                               Manned Platforms                                                       Host
                                                ƒFCS BCS                                                              Nation
                                                                                    Fire Assets                       •Air traffic
                     JTF                                                            •HIMARS
         Fire                                                                                                         control
                     •JDISS                                                                       GIG
                     •DCGS                                                                        •NIPRNET •DSN
                                                                                 WIN-T Network
                     •GCCS                                                                        •SIPRNET •DRSN        GCSS-A
                                                  JTRS Network

                                Ground                                                 +
                                           Med Co                C2V                    Med HQ
                                                                 •JWICS   FTTS                                           HSOC
                                                           MV                           •TMIP/MC4
      Source: U.S. Army.                                                                                                              14

18                                                                                               GAO-03-1010R FCS Program Issues
Enclosure                                                               Enclosure

        Understanding FCS
        Examples of Complementary Systems
        • Comanche Helicopter              • JTRS
        • High Mobility Artillery Rocket   • WIN-T
          System                           • Distributed Common Ground
        • Engineer Vehicle                   System – Army
        • Future Tactical Truck System     • Army Airborne Command and
        • Theater Support Vehicle            Control System
        • Combined Arms/Psychological      • Technical Enhancement
          Operations Vehicle                 Program
        • Chemical, Biological,            • Prophet (signal intelligence)
          Radiological, Nuclear            • Multi-Mission Radar
          Response System                  • Land Warrior Block II
        • Common Missile
        • Aerial Common Sensor


19                                                  GAO-03-1010R FCS Program Issues
Enclosure                                                                 Enclosure

      Criteria For Knowledge-Based Acquisition

        • Separate technology development from product development.

        • Match user needs with developer’s resources by milestone B
          (Indicator: Technology readiness).

        • Demonstrate design stability by Critical Design Review (CDR)
          (Indicator: percent of drawings releasable to manufacturing).

        • Demonstrate production process maturity before manufacturing
          articles are ready for delivery to the customer.

        • Endorsed by Defense Acquisition policies.


20                                                    GAO-03-1010R FCS Program Issues
Enclosure                                                         Enclosure

       Criteria For Knowledge-Based Acquisition

        • Experience has shown that programs with technologies
          that reach high maturity levels at product launch were
          better able to meet cost, schedule, and performance

        • Experience also indicates that programs that proceed
          with immature technologies encounter significant cost
          growth and schedule slippage.

        • The acquisition process puts pressure on programs to
          accept immature technologies and to make optimistic
          assumptions about product development.


21                                            GAO-03-1010R FCS Program Issues
Enclosure                                                                 Enclosure

            FCS Technologies

            FCS Increment 1 Still Being Defined
        • Army has defined the system of systems architecture and concept,
          but the individual systems are expected to evolve during SDD:
            • Complete system definitions have been put off at least until the
               preliminary design review scheduled for fiscal year 2005 or
               perhaps until critical design review in fiscal year 2006.
            • If some technologies do not work out, the Army plans to work
               with the user community to modify the current requirements,
               and pursue the technology in a later phase of the program.
        • The Army plans to continue to mature technologies during SDD and
          spiral them into the system of systems when they become mature.
          Thus, the composition of the system of systems and the design of
          the individual systems will change throughout SDD.


22                                                    GAO-03-1010R FCS Program Issues
Enclosure                                                               Enclosure

            FCS Technologies
        Design Concept Must Balance Tensions

        • Small and light systems are key to meeting deployability
          requirements but meeting the survivability and lethality
          requirements puts pressure on size and weight of the

        • Sensors, sensor fusion, relays, and data flow are critical to
          lethality and survivability. System of systems performance
          will be sensitive to degradation in these areas.

        • Technical sophistication is needed to deliver performance
          characteristics but has to be balanced with high reliability,
          maintainability, and sustainability.


23                                                  GAO-03-1010R FCS Program Issues
Enclosure                                                           Enclosure

            FCS Technologies
            Technical Assessment Used Good Processes

        • The Science and Technology IPT identified and assessed 31
          critical FCS technology areas that, if not available, would
          result in significant degradation of Unit of Action

        • The assessment process:
           • Used approved criteria—Technical Readiness Levels
           • Was transparent.
           • Was a clear confrontation of technical challenges.


24                                              GAO-03-1010R FCS Program Issues
Enclosure                                                       Enclosure

        FCS Technologies
        Many Key Technologies Not Mature

        • The maturity assessment of the 31 critical FCS
          technology areas showed:
           • 7 were at TRL 6 (or had funded SDD program)
           • 10 were between TRL 5 and 6
           • 10 were at TRL 5
           • 4 were at less than TRL 5
           • 22 required risk mitigation plans

        • These scores were based on the assessed maturity of
          underlying technologies and their readiness for FCS


25                                          GAO-03-1010R FCS Program Issues
Enclosure                                                                    Enclosure

        FCS Technologies

        Independent Technology Assessment
        • Validated the IPT technology maturity assessment.

        • Reviewed the FCS program’s risk mitigation plans.

        • Concluded that:
           • TRLs support entry into SDD for FCS Increment 1 in May 2003 and
           • Risk mitigation strategies are reasonable.

        • Army drew on very senior and experienced individuals to make these

        • Although the Army concluded that the TRLs supported entry into SDD,
          most technologies are at TRL levels considered immature by best practice

        • FCS expected to present a major technology integration challenge.


26                                                       GAO-03-1010R FCS Program Issues
Enclosure                                                                                                                      Enclosure

             FCS Technologies
              Army Assessment of FCS Critical Technology Readiness

       2002             2003                      2004           2005             2006     2007        2008          2009         2010
      CTD                                               SoS                  SoS                                                      IOC
     Award             MS B                             PDR                  CDR                           MS C                   (Threshold)

                                                                 DAB IPR                 DAB IPR DAB IPR

                        27         23             13         2                    3

                       29                          19                   18
                                    25                  9
                   4          11
                   6                    15              17          7        15
                   10         20             24         21              30
     Concept 16a                                        22

     and       28
     Technology                                                                                              Low Rate
     Demos                   System Development & Demonstration                                              Initial Production
     Note: calendar year shown
                                                                                                    Dual Mode Seeker
                                                         CTs        3
                                                                        Network Security       15   Precision Munitions
            Critical Technology                          after                                      Manned/Unmanned
                                                                        Wideband Waveforms                                     Countermine23
            Number                                       PDR        7                          18   Collaborations        30
     Source: U.S. Army.

27                                                                                                    GAO-03-1010R FCS Program Issues
Enclosure                                                                 Enclosure

            FCS Technologies

            Network Technology Challenges
        • Development of these capabilities will require:
           • Full time unmanned air vehicle to provide relays.
           • Wideband waveform from the JTRS to provide necessary
             bandwidth. (Alternatively, the FCS program is working on
             means to better manage available bandwidth.)
           • Availability of FCS version of JTRS in fiscal year 2007.
           • Significant software development effort.
           • Sensor/data fusion and other algorithms.

        • If the network capability falls below critical mass (yet to be
          defined), the lethality and survivability of the unit of action will
          be reduced.


28                                                    GAO-03-1010R FCS Program Issues
Enclosure                                                                      Enclosure

            FCS Technologies

            Lethality Technology Challenges
        • FCS must achieve a high kill-per-round-fired ratio and at greater ranges to
          achieve its lethality goal. The FCS will use networked fires and advanced
          precision weapons to achieve its goal.
        • Traditional delivery systems, including cannons and howitzers, mounted on
          16 to 20-ton platforms present physics challenges (i.e. shock impact).
            • Lightweight 120 mm cannon development is not yet at TRL 5.
        • Advanced precision weapons including Common Missile, Compact Kinetic
          Energy Missile, Loiter and Precision Attack Missiles, precision mortar round
          are not yet mature.
        • The FCS lethality goal also depends upon:.
            • Network’s ability to locate and identify targets and communicate to the
               shooter in real time.
            • Automatic Target Recognition.
            • Sensor-Shooter Algorithms and Fire Control.
            • Rapid battle damage assessment.
        • Lethality affects the amount of munitions that must be carried by FCS
          which in turn affects FCS’s sustainability and deployability.


29                                                         GAO-03-1010R FCS Program Issues
Enclosure                                                                 Enclosure

            FCS Technologies

            Survivability Technology Challenges

        • FCS manned system survivability is dependent on its ability to
          detect and kill the enemy beyond direct combat range, to avoid
          detection if the enemy approaches within direct combat range, and
          to survive the first shot if the enemy engages the FCS system.
        • Killing the enemy first depends on achieving the FCS’s lethality as
          discussed on the previous slide.
        • Avoiding detection depends on vehicle’s signature management
          and the ability of the network to tell FCS systems precisely where
          the enemy is before the enemy detects FCS.
        • Surviving the first shot depends on robust ballistic armor, active
          protection system, electronic armor, and other means.
            • Each presents technical challenges and could make reaching
               other goals (like high reliability) more difficult.


30                                                    GAO-03-1010R FCS Program Issues
Enclosure                                                                    Enclosure

            FCS Technologies

            Sustainment Technology Challenges
        • To achieve its self-sustainment and logistics footprint reduction
          requirements, the FCS will need to:
            • Obtain very high levels of reliability and maintainability by:
               • Developing robust, simple FCS designs despite high
                 complexity of the FCS concept and the use of advanced
                 technologies in the designs.
               • Achieving advances in embedded prognostics and
                 diagnostics systems.
            • Emphasize the use of common subsystems and components.

             • Achieve its high kill-per-round-fired goals.

             • Develop a robust real time battlefield damage assessment


31                                                       GAO-03-1010R FCS Program Issues
Enclosure                                                                  Enclosure

            FCS Technologies

            Other Technology Challenges
        • Other critical technologies that are not yet mature include:

             • High-power density/Fuel efficient propulsion.

             • Semi-autonomous Unmanned Ground Vehicles.

             • Water purification and generation.

             • Hybrid electric power systems.


32                                                     GAO-03-1010R FCS Program Issues
Enclosure                                                                                                     Enclosure

            Schedule for FCS Increment1
        Program Schedule
                                                                           Initial             Full
            Milestone B                          Milestone C           Operational        Operational
             May 2003                              2nd Qtr.             Capability         Capability
                                                     2008              1st Qtr. 2011      1st Qtr. 2013
                   B                                   C
         FY00-03       FY04    FY05   FY06    FY07    FY08     FY09   FY10   FY11      FY12    FY13       FY14    FY15-
            Con          System              System                                                       Full-Rate Prod
             &         Integration            Demo             LRIP                                       & Deployment
            Tech                 System
            Dev                Development                             Production & Deployment
                                 & Demo

      System of Systems                    Systems of                                   Full Rate
      Preliminary Design                    Systems                                    Production
            Review                       Critical Design                                Decision
         1st Qtr. 2005                       Review                                      Review
                                          3nd Qtr. 2006                                  3rd Qtr.

            56-month SDD schedule driven by FCS Increment 1 Initial and
            Full Operational Capability dates in fiscal years 2011 and 2013.

      Source: GAO analysis of U.S. Army data.

33                                                                                GAO-03-1010R FCS Program Issues
Enclosure                                                               Enclosure

            Schedule for FCS Increment 1

        SDD Schedule Extended

        • Approximately two years added between Milestones B and C.

        • First unit equipped date of fiscal year 2008 has been

        • Initial operational capability is to be achieved in fiscal year
          2011 with less ambitious FCS unit:
            • Includes combination of FCS and legacy units, not a unit
               of action.
            • Could use “in lieu of” vehicles.

        • Full operational capability date extended to fiscal year 2013.


34                                                  GAO-03-1010R FCS Program Issues
Enclosure                                                                                 Enclosure

          Schedule for FCS Increment 1
              Recent Changes Improve SDD Schedule
                  March 2003 Schedule                          April 2003 Schedule

      •     Prototype assembly to start within 3 to   •   Prototype assembly to start within
            5 months of start of SDD.                     28 months of start of SDD.
      •     Preliminary Design Review (PDR) to        •   Preliminary Design Review to occur
            occur within 8 to 9 months of SDD
                                                          within 18 months of SDD start.

      •     CDR to occur within 21 months of start    •   CDR to occur within 36 months of
            of SDD.                                       start of SDD.

      •     Long lead item procurement to start       •   Long lead item procurement to start
            within 26 months of SDD start—within          within 45 months of SDD start—
            5 months after CDR—and with the               within 12 months after CDR—and
            benefit of only limited prototype             with the benefit of only limited
            testing.                                      prototype testing.

      •     Not all FCS systems will be prototyped    •   Need more information on FCS
            before production decision.                   systems to be prototyped.


35                                                                    GAO-03-1010R FCS Program Issues
Enclosure                                                                 Enclosure

        Schedule for FCS Increment 1
        Revised Schedule More Executable But Still Aggressive

        • SDD increased by two years.

        • More knowledge demonstrated by PDR and CDR.

        • “Offramps” added in form of Defense Acquisition Board in-process

        • Smaller initial operational capability unit makes SDD scope more

        • Completion of technology development, system development and
          integration, network integration, and system of systems integration
          still must occur within five years.


36                                                    GAO-03-1010R FCS Program Issues
Enclosure                                                                      Enclosure

            FCS Affordability

            Funding and Affordability
        • Army cost estimate is complete and the Cost Analysis Improvement
          Group’s independent review is underway.
           • Cost estimates need to accurately account for significant scope and
           • If the FCS cost estimate is not more realistic than estimates for past
              programs, impact on the Army’s budget could be serious.

        • Army has allocated about $22 billion for FCS during fiscal years 2004 to
          2009 and several additional billion for complementary programs.

        • Recent schedule changes and program re-scoping were made to address
          near term affordability issues. Army plans to address remaining near term
          affordability issues in budget drills later this year.
            • More details needed on Increment 1 content under revised program

        • Significant funding increases required in years beyond the current Future
          Years Defense Program period.


37                                                         GAO-03-1010R FCS Program Issues
Enclosure                                                             Enclosure

        FCS Program Review
            Welch Panel to Review FCS and Transformation

        • Confirm that the currently defined program of the Objective
          Force and FCS components is on course to deliver, in
          successive increments, the needed capability to combatant
          commanders for future operations.

        • Confirm that the current and planned management structure
          can begin to deliver the 1st Increment of this force by dates
          planned under recently revised program.

        • Study completed and results provided to the Army on
          April 28, 2003.


38                                                GAO-03-1010R FCS Program Issues
Enclosure                                                                       Enclosure


        • Overall, the FCS concept shows progressive thinking on the part of the
          Army, particularly regarding the architecture, but SDD slated to start with
          more risk than recommended by best practices or DOD guidance. The
          Army’s recent schedule changes improve the program’s executability but
          the acquisition strategy is still aggressive.

        Positive features of FCS:

        • Army leadership is thinking about the best ways to prepare for future
          conflicts and is thinking unconventionally.
        • The architecture FCS provides will leverage individual capabilities and will
          facilitate interoperability and open systems. This is a significant
          improvement over the traditional approach of building superior individual
          weapons that must be netted together after the fact.
        • System of systems will give managers flexibility to make tradeoffs across
          traditional program lines for best value.
        • FCS is more like a community than an individual, so that a problem in one
          element does not necessarily spell disaster for the community. This gives
          the FCS design an inherent ability for graceful degradation.

39                                                          GAO-03-1010R FCS Program Issues
Enclosure                                                                        Enclosure


        • Good processes were used for the user/developer interface and the
          technology maturity assessments. In particular, the technical challenges
          the Army faces have been clearly delineated by the technology maturity
        • Substantial involvement of Science and Technology community should
          significantly facilitate handoff of technologies from technology base to
          program office.
        • The Army plans to use good measures like technology readiness levels,
          engineering and manufacturing readiness levels, production readiness
          levels, drawing releases, and statistical process control.
        • Many FCS efforts will have residual/transferable benefits for the legacy
        • The Army is willing to make tradeoffs to fund FCS.
        • Setting sustainability as a design characteristic equal to lethality and
          survivability is a best practice.


40                                                           GAO-03-1010R FCS Program Issues
Enclosure                                                                Enclosure


      Concerns About the FCS Approach:
      • The FCS strategy challenges performance of past programs and
        best practices. Significant improvements in how technology
        development and system design and integration progress, and
        improvements in cost estimating are necessary for success.
      • Many critical technologies will not be mature at Milestone B, thus
        technology development and product development will occur
        concurrently. This increases the risk of experiencing cost growth and
        schedule delays on the order of past programs. The cost of delays in
        SDD could be significant given the scope of FCS.
      • Even with a longer schedule, SDD is still a significant challenge for
        such a vast scope—completion of technology development, design
        and demonstration of individual systems, design and demonstration
        of the network, and design and demonstration of the system of
        systems. The SDD strategy calls for developing multiple systems and
        a network within a period of time that DOD typically needs to develop
        a single advanced system.

41                                                   GAO-03-1010R FCS Program Issues
Enclosure                                                                    Enclosure


        • While FCS provides for graceful degradation, increment 1 must
          reach a critical mass to demonstrate a viable capability—it is not
          enough to be more deployable and sustainable than the heavy
          force and more lethal and survivable than the light force. It must be
          as capable as the heavy force. Such critical mass is synergy-
          dependent and will not be demonstrated until late in SDD.
        • Making a Milestone B decision on a system of systems like FCS
          poses challenges for the acquisition process in terms of the
          magnitude of the decision, defining and evaluating requirements,
          analyzing alternatives, conducting test and evaluation, estimating
          and tracking costs, and conducting oversight.
        • If the Milestone B decision on FCS is viewed as a referendum on
          transformation, it will detract from its proper focus as an acquisition
          decision that must be based on a business case.


42                                                       GAO-03-1010R FCS Program Issues
Enclosure                                                                  Enclosure

        Considerations for Proceeding

        Decision makers must decide on how best to proceed.

        • Proceeding as planned has significant challenges as noted above.

        • Doing nothing is not acceptable in light of the Army’s transformation

        • Putting each of the 18 FCS systems plus the network individually
          through the current acquisition process could weaken the
          architecture and would amount to controlled evolution versus


43                                                     GAO-03-1010R FCS Program Issues
Enclosure                                                                                            Enclosure

           Considerations for Proceeding

               The Army’s case for proceeding as planned has compelling arguments, but is it the only
               acceptable way to develop FCS? Are there other ways to facilitate the realization of FCS
               capabilities without taking undue risks? If so, they should be considered and their pros and cons
               weighed. For example,

           •   Accelerate maturity of key technologies before holding Milestone B.
               Pros: Lower technology risk, higher knowledge level at Milestone B.
               Cons: SDD system level activities like systems engineering and system integration will be
               delayed, delaying fielding of FCS.

           •   Use mechanisms like Advance Technology Demonstrations to accelerate the maturation of FCS
               “long poles” like the network before Milestone B.
               Pros: Lower technology and integration risk for network, higher knowledge level at Milestone B.
               Cons: Pace of direct systems may be slowed and other SDD system level activities will be
               delayed, delaying fielding of FCS.

           •   After vetting and approving an FCS architecture, construct a streamlined—but knowledge-
               based—process for putting the entry of individual systems into SDD.
               Pros: Better fit with the acquisition process without paying the price of 19 separate processes;
               more opportunity for “off ramps” if planned progress is not made.
               Cons: Increases the difficulty of maintaining the integrity of the system of systems and could
               reduce flexibility to make decisions across system lines and take advantage of graceful



44                                                                            GAO-03-1010R FCS Program Issues
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