Futures

Man, I wish Noah were around to comment on this one, from Inside the Army:FCS.jpg

The Future Combat System successfully cleared its initial preliminary design review, marking the end of the program's "PowerPoint" phase and the beginning of more tangible progress, program officials said last week."We are done with PowerPoint charts," said Maj. Gen. Charles Cartwright, the Army's FCS program manager during an Aug. 15 conference call with reporters. "It's about building real stuff for not only the current force but to build the equipment for the future modular brigades."
And then there's this, from a congressional staff member:
Another area of concern is the program's long-term costs, but the discussion during the initial preliminary design review put aside the issue of cost entirely, the staffer said.
Noah may not be around, but you can get a pretty good idea of what he'd say by browsing here.-- Dan DupontUPDATE, 5:06 EST (from Axe): Since Noah's not around, I'll say it: FCS is too expensive, too ambitious, technologically and operationally unsound and destined for the kinds of cuts and stretches that turn even useful programs into multi-billion-dollar embarassments. Only here we're talking a trillion dollars, if the Army FCS-izes the entire force.The CBO is all over this one (PDF!), as I reported earlier:
In 2011, planned FCS costs would account for about 6 percent of the Army's $21 billion procurement budget, CBO estimates; by 2015, that share could rise to almost half and remain at or above 40 percent through 2025. (For purposes of comparison, in the mid-1980s, at the height of the Reagan defense buildup, the Army dedicated at most 20 percent of its procurement funds to buy combat vehicles.)
Kill FCS now!--David Axe
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