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"Future Combat": Cuts, or More Cash?

It's only taken $50 billion in extra cash, a heap of missed deadlines and redrawn requirements, and a war that's lasted about two years too long. But the Pentagon may finally be ready to start putting the axe to the Army's leviathan modernization program, Future Combat Systems.nloscfiring.jpgInside Defense reports that FCS is on a "short list of...weapon system programs that could be terminated or significantly pared back."

They are looking to slip it to the right or kill it, said a source familiar with FCS options advanced by the Pentagon's office of program analysis and evaluation.Army officials are working to convince Pentagon leaders, including England, to reconsider cutting or even terminating FCS, the service's only major new-start development program.Army Chief of Staff Gen. Peter Schoomaker is scheduled to meet Friday with England and again make the case for the program, a briefing that is expected to discuss FCS' relevance to today's challenges.
Whoops! Make that $70 billion in cost overruns. The Defense Department quietly released a "selected acquisition report" this week saying that FCS would now run $161 billion -- up from 2003's $92 billion estimate. So we're talking a 75% increase. And remember, folks, that's only down payment. Because $161 billion only pays for modernizing a third of the Army's troops.
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