DoD Buzz

Son of FCS Limps On

Rep. Solomon Ortiz, senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, moved today to restore $111.6 million to the Army's son of FCS, the so-called Brigade Combat Team Modernization. The full committee restored the money during markup.

The BCT modernization included unattended munitions, the Non-Line-Of-Sight Launch System (NLOS-LS), sensors, a small hovering drone, a small robot, new radios and software. The Army officially killed NLOS and then the HASC air and land subcommittee killed most of the rest during its markup last week. But Ortiz was wary about the depth of the cuts and pushed to restore the money at today's markup.

A congressional aide broke down the restored money this way:

+$34.7 mil for Class I UAV procurement (the mark had it at $0 before)

+$21.3 mil for SUGV procurement (the mark had it at $0 before)

+$55.6 mil for FCS System of Systems Engineering and Program Management (we had cut it by $126.9 million in the mark)

So score one for iRobot, whose SUG-V came back to life. After all, the Army is already buying the commercial version of SUG-V (sometimes called SUG-V lite) with a much cheaper camera for Iraq and other combat uses. The SUG-V the Army is testing uses a much more expensive, beefed-up camera.

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