Originally, the idea was to replace the Army of today with a fleet of ultra-quick, laser-firing tanks, connected to a array of new drones by a giant network for combat. Then, the thought was to concentrate on the network first, and do the sci-fi stuff second. But now, according to Bloomberg News, the U.S. Army's $117 billion Future Comabt Systems initiative is poised to become, in many ways, just another way to get gear to the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.Of the $3 billion or so allocated to FCS this year, "about $886 million would be used to buy tactical radios," the news service says. The Stryker armored vehicles -- a brigade of which just got done with a year-long deployment in northern Iraq -- "would receive an extra $672 million. The Army wants to spend $579 million on training ammunition."Another $9 billion in FCS funds for future years has been moved around, too. Bloomberg notes that "the biggest portion of the shifted Future Combat Systems money, about $1.3 billion, will be allocated through 2011 for 'tactical vehicles,' including upgrades and repairs of General Dynamics M1A2 tanks and United Defense Industries Inc.'s Bradley Fighting Vehicles damaged in Iraq."(thanks to Phil Carter for the catch)
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