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Report to Congressional Committees: 

United States Government Accountability Office: 
GAO: 

March 2008: 

Defense Acquisitions: 

2009 Is a Critical Juncture for the Army's Future Combat System: 

GAO-08-408: 

GAO Highlights: 

Highlights of GAO-08-408, a report to congressional committees. 

Why GAO Did This Study: 

The Future Combat System (FCS) program—which comprises 14 integrated 
weapon systems and an advanced information network—is the centerpiece 
of the Army’s effort to transition to a lighter, more agile, and more 
capable combat force. The substantial technical challenges, the Army’s 
acquisition strategy, and the cost of the program are among the reasons 
why the program is recognized as needing special oversight and review. 
Section 211 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 
2006 requires GAO to report annually on the FCS program. This report 
includes an examination of (1) how the definition, development, and 
demonstration of FCS capabilities are proceeding, particularly in light 
of the go/no-go decision scheduled for 2009; (2) the Army’s plans for 
making production commitments for FCS and any risks related to the 
completion of development; and (3) the estimated costs for developing 
and producing FCS. 

What GAO Found: 

The progress made during the year by the FCS program, in terms of 
knowledge gained, is commensurate with a program in early development. 
Yet, the knowledge demonstrated thus far is well short of a program 
halfway through its development schedule and its budget. This portends 
additional cost increases and delays as FCS begins what is 
traditionally the most expensive and problematic phase of development. 
Thus, FCS’s demonstrated performance, as well as the reasonableness of 
its remaining resources, will be paramount at the 2009 milestone review 
for the FCS program. In the key areas of defining and developing FCS 
capabilities, requirements definition and preliminary designs are 
proceeding but not yet complete; critical technologies are immature; 
complementary programs are not yet synchronized; and the remaining 
acquisition strategy is very ambitious. 

Beginning in 2008, the Army plans to make a series of commitments to 
produce FCS-related systems in advance of the low-rate production 
decision for the FCS core program in 2013. In general, production 
commitments are planned before key information is available. In 2008 
and 2009, the Army plans to begin funding production of the first of 
three planned spin outs of FCS technologies to current forces. However, 
its commitment to the first spin out may be made before testing is 
complete. Also starting in 2008, the Army intends to commit to 
production of early versions of the Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon. This 
commitment is being made to respond to congressional direction to field 
the cannon. FCS technologies, network, and designs are not yet mature 
enough for production, and thus the cannons produced will not be 
deployable without significant modifications. Advance procurement 
funding for the first full suite of FCS systems will begin in fiscal 
year 2011, the budget for which will be presented to Congress in 
February 2010—less than a year after the milestone review and before 
the stability of the FCS design is assessed at the critical design 
review. In addition, the Army plans to commit to using Boeing, its lead 
system integrator, for the early production of FCS systems through the 
initial production phase of the FCS system of systems. By the time of 
the production decision in 2013, $39 billion will have already been 
invested in FCS, with another $8 billion requested. Thus, while 
demonstration of the FCS’s capability falls late in the schedule, 
commitments to production are likely to come early—an untenable 
situation for decision makers. 

The Army’s $160.9 billion cost estimate for the FCS program is largely 
the same as last year’s but yields less content as the number of FCS 
systems has since been reduced from 18 to 14. There is not a firm 
foundation of knowledge for a confident cost estimate. Also, two 
independent cost assessments are significantly higher than the Army’s 
estimate. However, the Army maintains that it will further reduce FCS 
content to stay within its development cost ceiling. Should the higher 
cost estimates prove correct, it seems unlikely that the Army could 
reduce FCS content enough to stay within the current funding 
constraints while still delivering a capability that meets 
requirements. 

What GAO Recommends: 

GAO recommends that the Secretary of Defense: establish criteria that 
the FCS program will have to meet in the 2009 milestone review in order 
to justify continuation; identify viable alternatives to FCS; and take 
other actions. DOD concurred with GAO’s recommendations. 

To view the full product, including the scope and methodology, click on 
[hyperlink, http://www.GAO-08-408]. For more information, contact Paul 
Francis at (202) 512-4841 or francisp@gao.gov. 

[End of section] 

Contents: 

Letter: 

Results in Brief: 

Background: 

Knowledge Has Been Gained on FCS Definition, Development, and 
Demonstration but Falls Well Short for a Program at Midpoint: 

Production Commitments Are Planned to Be Made Early Despite Late 
Demonstration of FCS Capabilities: 

FCS Costs Likely to Be Higher Than Current Army Estimate: 

Conclusions: 

Recommendations for Executive Action: 

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation: 

Appendix I: Scope and Methodology: 

Appendix II: Comments from the Department of Defense: 

Appendix III: Technology Readiness Levels: 

Appendix IV: FCS Critical Technology Ratings and Projections for 
Achieving TRL 6: 

Appendix V: Annual and Cumulative FCS Research and Development Funding 
and Planned Events and Achievements: 

Related GAO Products: 

Tables: 

Table 1: FCS Critical Technology Maturation--Actual and Projected: 

Table 2: Key FCS Test Event Schedule: 

Table 3: Comparison of the Original Cost Estimate and Recent Cost 
Estimates for the FCS Program (in billions of dollars): 

Table 4: FCS Procurement Funding through 2013: 

Figures: 

Figure 1: FCS's Core Systems: 

Figure 2: Flow and Number of FCS Requirements: 

Figure 3: Comparison of TRL 6 Projections: 

Figure 4: Differences between Best Practices Acquisition Approach and 
FCS Approach: 

Figure 5: FCS Knowledge Gaps: 

Figure 6: NLOS-C versus Core FCS Procurement Schedule: 

Figure 7: Cumulative FCS Research and Development Funding and Key 
Events: 

Figure 8: FCS Research and Development and Procurement Funding Profile 
from Fiscal Year 2003 through Fiscal Year 2030: 

Abbreviations: 

APS: active protection system: 

CAIG: Cost Analysis Improvement Group: 

CDR critical design review: 

DOD: Department of Defense: 

FCS: Future Combat System: 

RMV: FCS Recovery and Maintenance Vehicle: 

FRP: full-rate production: 

GAO: Government Accountability Office: 

IDA: Institute for Defense Analyses: 

JTRS: Joint Tactical Radio System: 

KP1: knowledge point 1: 

KP2: knowledge point 2: 

KP3: knowledge point 3: 

LSI: lead system integrator: 

LRIP: low-rate initial production: 

NLOS-C: Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon: 

NLOS-LS: Non-Line-of-Sight Launch System: 

NLOS-M: Non-Line-of-Sight Mortar: 

PDR: preliminary design review: 

R&D: research and development: 

SOSCOE: system-of-systems common operating environment: 

TRL: technology readiness level: 

UAV: Unmanned Aerial Vehicle: 

WIN-T: Warfighter Information Network-Tactical: 

[End of section] 

United States Government Accountability Office:
Washington, DC 20548: 

March 7, 2008: 

Congressional Committees: 

The Future Combat System (FCS) program--which comprises 14 integrated 
weapon systems and an advanced information network needed for a brigade 
combat team--is the centerpiece of the Army's efforts to transition to 
a lighter, more agile, and more capable combat force and, according to 
the Army, the greatest technology and integration challenge it has ever 
undertaken. The Army seeks to develop and then integrate dozens of new 
technologies in the FCS program and ultimately create a force in which 
people, platforms, weapons, and sensors are linked seamlessly together 
in a system of systems. 

The Army started the FCS program in May 2003 before defining what the 
systems were going to be required to do and how they would interact. 
The Army moved ahead without determining whether the concept could be 
successfully developed with existing resources--without proven 
technologies, a stable design, and available funding and time. The Army 
projects the FCS program will cost $160.9 billion, which does not 
include all the costs to the Army, such as complementary programs. The 
Army is using a unique partner-like arrangement with a lead system 
integrator (LSI), Boeing, to manage and produce the FCS. For these and 
other reasons, the program is recognized as being high risk and needing 
special oversight. Accordingly, in 2006, Congress mandated that the 
Department of Defense (DOD) hold an FCS milestone review following the 
FCS preliminary design review, which is now scheduled for February 
2009.[Footnote 1] Congress directed that the review include an 
assessment of whether (1) the needs are valid and can be best met with 
the FCS concept, (2) the FCS program can be developed and produced 
within existing resources, and (3) the program should continue as 
currently structured, be restructured, or be terminated. Congress 
required the Secretary of Defense to review and report on specific 
aspects of the program, including the maturity of critical 
technologies, program risks, demonstrations of the FCS concept and 
software, and a cost estimate and affordability assessment. 

Given its cost, scope, and technical challenges, section 211 of the 
National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2006 requires GAO to 
report annually on the FCS program.[Footnote 2] The specific objectives 
of this report are to address (1) how the definition, development, and 
demonstration of FCS capabilities are proceeding, particularly in light 
of the go/no-go decision scheduled for 2009; (2) the Army's plans for 
making production commitments for FCS and any risks related to 
completing development; and (3) the estimated costs for developing and 
producing FCS and risks the Army faces in both meeting the estimate and 
providing commensurate funding. We are issuing a second report to 
address FCS network and software development.[Footnote 3] 

In conducting our work, we have contacted numerous DOD and Army 
offices. We reviewed documents pertaining to the FCS program, including 
the Operational Requirements Document, the Acquisition Strategy Report, 
technology assessments, and modeling and simulation results; attended 
meetings at which DOD and Army officials reviewed program progress; and 
held discussions with key DOD and Army officials on various aspects of 
the program. Officials from DOD and the Army have provided us access to 
sufficient information to make informed judgments on the matters in 
this report. In addition, we drew from our body of past work on weapon 
systems acquisition practices. We performed our work from March 2007 to 
March 2008 in accordance with generally accepted government auditing 
standards. Those standards require that we plan and perform the audit 
to obtain sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable 
basis for our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. 
We believe that the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for 
our findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. Appendix I 
further discusses our scope and methodology. 

Results in Brief: 

The progress made during the year by the FCS program, in terms of 
knowledge gained, is commensurate with a program in early development. 
Yet, the knowledge demonstrated thus far is well short of a program 
halfway through both its development schedule and its budget. This 
portends additional cost increases and delays as FCS begins what is 
traditionally the most expensive and problematic phase of development. 
Accordingly, FCS's demonstrated performance as well as the 
reasonableness of its remaining resources will be paramount at the 2009 
milestone review for the FCS program. Specifically, in the key areas 
for defining and developing FCS capabilities, we found: 

* Requirements have been defined well enough to begin preliminary 
designs of the individual FCS systems. Requirements are still fluid, 
reflecting recent events such as the Army's decision to reduce systems 
from 18 to 14, understanding what the FCS network needs to be, and the 
re-estimate of software from 63 million to 95 million lines of code. 

* FCS's 44 critical technologies are approaching the basic maturity 
needed to start a program, but are immature for a program halfway 
through its scheduled development. Most FCS technologies may not be 
fully mature until after 2009. Beyond basic technology maturity, major 
integration challenges lie ahead. 

* Complementary programs--needed to meet FCS requirements but managed 
outside the program--are not yet synchronized with the FCS schedule and 
face their own technical, funding, and requirements challenges. Two 
programs critical to the FCS network--the Joint Tactical Radio System 
(JTRS) and the Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T)--have 
been restructured several times. 

* The strategy for completing the second half of FCS development is 
ambitious. According to DOD policy, a program at the midpoint of 
development should be at the critical design review--the point at which 
the design is stable and ready to be demonstrated with high-fidelity 
prototypes. FCS is still a year away from preliminary design, and by 
the time of critical design review in 2011, there will be only 2 years 
left before the production decision. To meet this schedule, FCS will 
not test production-representative prototypes before low-rate 
production, and key system-of-systems testing will not take place until 
after production starts. 

Beginning in 2008, the Army plans to make a series of commitments to 
produce FCS-related systems in advance of the production decision for 
the FCS core program in 2013. In general, production commitments are 
planned before key information is available. In 2008 and 2009, the Army 
plans to begin funding initial production of the first of three planned 
spin outs of FCS technologies to current forces. The Army intends to 
commit to the first spin out before testing is complete and will rely 
partly on tests of surrogate systems. Also starting in 2008, the Army 
plans to commit to production of early versions of the Non-Line-of- 
Sight Cannon (NLOS-C). This commitment is being made to respond to 
congressional direction to produce and field the cannon. FCS 
technologies, network, and designs are not yet mature enough for 
production, and thus the cannons produced will not be deployable 
without significant modifications. In addition, the Army recently 
decided to commit to using its LSI for the production of spin outs, 
cannons, and the first three sets of FCS core systems. This makes the 
Army's relationship with the LSI even closer and will heighten 
oversight challenges. By the time of the 2013 production decision, a 
total of about $39 billion will already have been appropriated for FCS, 
with another $8 billion requested. Thus, while demonstration of the FCS 
capability falls late in the schedule, commitments to production will 
come early--an untenable situation for decision makers. 

The Army's $160.9 billion cost estimate for the FCS program is largely 
the same as last year's estimate but yields less content as the number 
of FCS systems has since been reduced from 18 to 14. Given the 
program's relative immaturity, there is not a firm foundation of 
knowledge for a confident cost estimate. Also, two independent cost 
assessments--one from DOD's Cost Analysis Improvement Group (CAIG) and 
the other from the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA)--are 
significantly higher than the Army's estimate. Both assessments 
estimate higher costs for software development, to which the recent 
increase in lines of code adds credence. Nonetheless, the Army has not 
accepted these estimates and instead uses its own, lower estimate in 
making funding projections and maintains that it will further reduce 
FCS content to stay within its development cost ceiling. As the Army 
begins a steep ramp-up of FCS production, FCS costs will compete with 
other Army funding priorities, such as the transition to modular 
organizations and recapitalizing the weapons and other assets that 
return from current operations. Together, the program's uncertain cost 
estimate and competing Army priorities make additional reductions in 
FCS's scope and capabilities likely. 

We are making several recommendations to the Secretary of Defense in 
regard to (1) establishing objective and quantifiable criteria that the 
FCS program will have to meet at the 2009 go/no-go decision, (2) 
identifying viable alternatives to FCS to be considered if FCS does not 
meet the established criteria, and (3) closely examining the Army's 
relationship with the LSI, particularly regarding the LSI's expanded 
responsibilities for production. In commenting on a draft of this 
report, DOD concurred with our recommendations. 

Background: 

The FCS concept is designed to be part of the Army's Future Force, 
which is intended to transform the Army into a more rapidly deployable 
and responsive force that differs substantially from the large division-
centric structure of the past. The Army is reorganizing its current 
forces into modular brigade combat teams, each of which is expected to 
be highly survivable and the most lethal brigade-sized unit the Army 
has ever fielded. The Army expects FCS-equipped brigade combat teams to 
provide significant warfighting capabilities to DOD's overall joint 
military operations. The Army is implementing its transformation plans 
at a time when current U.S. ground forces continue to play a critical 
role in ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Army has 
instituted plans to spin out selected FCS technologies and systems to 
current Army forces throughout the program's system development and 
demonstration phase. 

The Army recently made a number of adjustments to its plans for the FCS 
program. The revised program will no longer include all 18 systems as 
originally planned. The FCS family of weapons is now expected to 
include 14 manned and unmanned ground vehicles, air vehicles, sensors, 
and munitions that will be linked by an advanced information network. 
The systems include: 

* eight new types of manned ground vehicles to replace current tanks, 
infantry carriers, and self-propelled howitzers; 

* two classes of unmanned aerial vehicles; 

* several unmanned ground vehicles; and: 

* an attack missile. 

Fundamentally, the FCS concept is to replace mass with superior 
information--allowing the soldier to see and hit the enemy first rather 
to rely on heavy armor to withstand a hit. This proposed solution 
attempts to address a mismatch that has posed a dilemma to the Army for 
decades: the Army's heavy forces had the necessary firepower needed to 
win but required extensive support and too much time to deploy while 
its light forces could deploy rapidly but lacked firepower. If the 
Future Force were to become a reality, then the Army would be better 
organized, staffed, equipped, and trained for prompt and sustained land 
combat, qualities intended to ensure that the Army would dominate over 
evolving, sophisticated threats. The Future Force is to be offensively 
oriented and will employ revolutionary concepts of operations, enabled 
by new technology. The Army envisions a new way of fighting that 
depends on networking the force, which involves linking people, 
platforms, weapons, and sensors seamlessly together in a system of 
systems. 

Figure 1: FCS's Core Systems: 

[See PDF for image] 

This figure is an illustration of the FCS's Core Systems. The following 
information is illustrated with data and drawings: 

Network: Sensors Battle Command SOSCOE Transport: 

Manned Ground Vehicles (MGV): 
* Mounted Combat System (MCB); 
* Infantry Carrier Vehicle (ICV); 
* Command and Control Vehicle (C2V). 

Common Chassis: 
* Reconnaissance and Surveillance Vehicle (RSV); 
* Non-line of Sight Mortar (NLOS-m); 
* Non-Line of Sight Cannon (NLOS-c); 
* FCS Recovery and Maintenance Vehicle (FRMV); 
* Medical Vehicle Treatment (MV-T0; 
* Medical Vehicle Evacuation (MV-E). 

Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS): 
* Class 1 UAV; 
* Class IV UAV. 

Unattended Ground Systems (UGS): 
* Tactical Unattended Ground Sensor (T-UGS); 
* Urban Unattended Ground Sensor (U-UGS); 
* Non-Line of Sight Launch System (NLOS_LS). 

Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGV): 
* Armed Robotic Vehicle-Assault (Light)(ARV-A-L); 
- Multifunctional Utility/Logistics and Equipment (MULE); 
- Multifunctional Utility/Logistics and Countermine (MULE-C);
- Multifunctional Utility/Logistics and Transport (MULE-T). 
* Small UGV (SUGV). 

Source: U.S. Army. 

[End of figure] 

If successful, the FCS system-of-systems concept would integrate 
individual capabilities of weapons and platforms, thus facilitating 
interoperability and open system designs. This concept would represent 
significant improvement over the traditional approach of building 
superior individual weapons that must be retrofitted and netted 
together after the fact. This transformation, in terms of both 
operations and equipment, is under way with the full cooperation of the 
Army warfighter community. In fact, the development and acquisition of 
FCS is being accomplished using a uniquely collaborative relationship 
among the Army's developers, the participating contractors, and the 
warfighter community. 

The Army is using a management approach for FCS that centers on an LSI 
to provide significant management services to help the Army define and 
develop FCS and reach across traditional Army mission areas. Because of 
its partner-like relationship with the Army, the LSI's responsibilities 
include requirements development, design, and selection of major system 
and subsystem contractors. The team of Boeing and its subcontractor, 
Science Applications International Corporation, is the LSI for the FCS 
system development and demonstration phase of acquisition, which is 
expected to extend until 2017. The FCS LSI is expected to act on behalf 
of the Army to optimize the FCS capability, maximize competition, 
ensure interoperability, and maintain commonality in order to reduce 
life-cycle costs, and for overall integration of the information 
network. Boeing also acts as an FCS supplier in that it is responsible 
for developing two important software subsystems. Army representatives 
stated they did not believe the Army had the resources or flexibility 
to use its traditional acquisition process to field a program as 
complex as FCS under the aggressive timeline established by the then- 
Army Chief of Staff. The Army will maintain oversight and final 
approval of the LSI's subcontracting and competition plans. 

In 2007, we reported on, among other things, why the Army decided to 
use an LSI for the FCS program and the nature of the LSI's working 
relationship with the Army.[Footnote 4] We found that the use of an LSI 
for FCS provides an oversight challenge for the Army and that the 
Office of the Secretary of Defense has an important role in providing 
oversight on the FCS program. Congress has expressed concern over the 
use of LSI's, and has prohibited DOD from awarding new contracts for 
LSI functions after October 2010.[Footnote 5] 

Knowledge-Based Processes Necessary for Successful Development: 

Since the mid-1990s, we have studied the best practices of leading 
commercial companies.[Footnote 6] Taking into account the differences 
between commercial product development and weapons acquisitions, we 
have articulated a best practices product development model that relies 
on increasing knowledge when developing a new product. This knowledge- 
based approach requires developers to make investment decisions on the 
basis of three specific, measurable levels of knowledge at critical 
junctures over the course of a program: 

* Knowledge Point 1: At program start, the customer's needs should 
match the developer's available resources in terms of mature 
technologies, time, and funding. Indications of this match include 
having firm requirements in place as well as demonstrated maturity of 
technologies needed to meet customer needs. A preliminary design review 
at or near the start of product development is typically the vehicle 
used to help stabilize performance, schedule, and cost expectations. 

* Knowledge Point 2: About midway through development, the product's 
design should be stable and demonstrate that it is capable of meeting 
performance requirements. A critical design review at this mid-point is 
the vehicle for making the determination and generally signifies the 
point at which the program is ready to start building production- 
representative prototypes. 

* Knowledge Point 3: By the time of the production decision, the 
product must be shown to be producible within cost, schedule, and 
quality targets and have demonstrated its reliability. It is also the 
point at which the design should demonstrate through realistic testing 
that it performs as expected. 

The most important part of a knowledge-based approach occurs at program 
start, when product development begins. At that point, a timely match 
of requirements and resources is critical to successful product 
development. A key difference between successful products--those that 
perform as expected and are developed within estimated resources--and 
problematic products is when the match is achieved. When a customer's 
needs and a developer's resources are matched before a product's 
development starts, it is more likely the development will result in a 
successful product that is able to meet cost, schedule, and performance 
objectives. When this match takes place later, after the product 
development is underway, problems occur that can significantly increase 
the expected time and money as well as result in performance 
shortfalls. 

Knowledge Has Been Gained on FCS Definition, Development, and 
Demonstration but Falls Well Short for a Program at Midpoint: 

Because the Army went forward with FCS development before attaining key 
knowledge such as firm requirements and mature technologies, its 
knowledge levels have consistently lagged behind its calendar schedule. 
It will be a challenge for the Army to mature technologies and hold a 
preliminary design review by 2009. Ideally, these processes should have 
been completed by the program's start in 2003. Moreover, the Army has 
just recently formed an understanding of what the FCS network needs to 
be and what may be technically feasible. The Army is still struggling 
to synchronize the set of needed complementary programs with FCS's 
content and schedules because many of these programs have technical or 
funding issues of their own. As it has gained knowledge in these areas, 
the Army has had to restructure the program, reducing scope, increasing 
cost, and delaying schedule. In 2009, the Army will have spent 6 years 
and $18 billion on these initial definition and development efforts. 
That leaves about 4 years and $9 billion in development funding to 
complete what are usually the more costly aspects of a development 
program--system integration and demonstration activities as well as 
preparation for production. The Army's user community believes, based 
on modeling and simulation analyses, that FCS will provide needed 
capabilities. However, it will be several years before demonstrations 
validate those results. In fact, system demonstrations to date have 
been limited and broad system-of-systems demonstrations will not be 
conducted until late in the program. 

FCS Requirements Not Yet Fully Defined, and System Designs Are Not Yet 
Complete: 

Ideally, the Army should have shown a match between customer needs and 
available resources by having established firm requirements and 
preliminary designs that meet those requirements shortly after program 
start in 2003. Instead, the Army expects to continue the process of 
setting and defining requirements and establishing system designs at 
least until the program reaches its system-of-systems level preliminary 
design review in 2009. This is particularly problematic because 2009 
actually marks a date that is about one year past the mid-point of the 
FCS development phase, when a program following best practices and DOD 
policy would normally conduct a critical design review to show it has a 
stable, producible design that is capable of meeting performance 
requirements. 

The Army faces a daunting task in completing requirements definition by 
2009. As figure 2 illustrates, the FCS program encompasses thousands of 
requirements at the operational, system-of-systems, and individual 
system levels. 

Figure 2: Flow and Number of FCS Requirements: 

[See PDF for image] 

This figure contains a chart representing the Flow and Number of FCS 
Requirements. The following data is depicted: 

FCS operational requirements document: 
* 544 requirements; 
* 7 key performance parameters: 
- Net ready; 
- Networked battle command; 
- Networked lethality; 
- Transportability; 
- Sustainability/reliability; 
- Training; 
- Survivability. 

System-of-system requirements: 
* 11,697 requirements with threshold and objective values; 
* Brigade combat team functionality. 

System-level requirements: 
* 51,944 System level requirements; 
* Systems and platform functionality: 
- 8 types of Manned Ground Vehicles; 
- 2 types of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles; 
- 1 unattended sensor; 
- 1 unattended munitions; 
- 2 types of Unmanned Ground Vehicles; 
- Information Network; 
- Soldier systems; 
- Training systems; 
- Logistics systems; 
- Plus complimentary and associated programs. 
* Hardware subsystems; 
* Software subsystems. 

Source: U.S. Army (data); GAO (analysis and presentation). 

[End of figure] 

The Army anticipates that it will gain a better understanding of FCS 
system and subsystem requirements--and resolve many of the remaining 
"to be determined" and open issues--during a series of system-level 
preliminary design reviews to be completed by February 2009. Army 
officials acknowledge that system-level requirements are almost certain 
to be modified in the process as subsystem hardware and software are 
more fully defined. 

The Army is working through the detailed requirements changes needed to 
implement the program adjustments announced in early 2007 because the 
restructure of FCS from 18 to 14 systems resulted in requirements 
modifications, deferral, and redistribution. Army officials told us 
they are currently assessing the requirements balance among the 14 
systems and do not yet have all the modifications to system 
requirements in place. However, some consequences are already apparent. 
For example, a requirement for the deferred Class II unmanned aerial 
vehicle to carry a laser designator is to be assigned to the Class I 
aerial vehicle. According to Army officials, the Class I aerial vehicle 
will consequently need to use a more powerful engine. In addition, 
because of the deferral of the Class III aerial vehicle, its mission 
requirements--including performing the mine detection mission--will 
need to be assigned to other platforms. 

All the individual FCS systems are being designed to meet the system- 
level requirements and restrictive space, weight, and power 
constraints. The Army is still coming to terms with these and other 
design issues. It has not finished making trade-offs between 
requirements and design and have not yet finalized decisions about how 
to implement requirements within several areas of concern, including 
weight, power, space, reliability, and unit costs. For example, most of 
the manned ground vehicles are at risk of not meeting their weight, 
maintainability, and other requirements. To that end, the program is 
still working on designing a hull for manned ground vehicles that not 
only meets weight constraints but also requirements for protecting 
vehicle crews against mine blasts. Similarly, the program is trying to 
confirm a design that will balance competing requirements for the Class 
I unmanned aerial vehicle to perform as needed yet be small and light 
enough to be carried in a soldier's backpack. It is not clear that the 
Army will be able to complete all system designs by 2009. 

The Army is also working to reduce recognized technical risks in the 
system designs in order to meet system-of-systems as well as system- 
level FCS requirements. For example, the Army is considering the 
possibility of modifying requirements for the Class IV unmanned aerial 
vehicle because the vehicle may not fully meet FCS electromagnetic 
requirements. Likewise, the Army has focused on modifying transport 
requirements for manned ground vehicles because they are too heavy to 
be moved via the Air Force's C-130 airlift aircraft as originally 
planned. 

Incomplete Requirements and Designs for FCS Information Network Hamper 
Software Development: 

Despite significant efforts to date, the Army and LSI have not 
completed defining the detailed network requirements, maturing the 
preliminary design of the network, and developing and integrating 
network hardware and software. Nearly 5 years after the start of system 
development, the Army and LSI only recently reached an understanding of 
what the network needs to be, what may be technically feasible, how to 
begin building the network, and how to eventually demonstrate it. An 
engineering approach has been identified but network design and 
maturity is still a work in progress. For example, the Army and LSI are 
still determining what network management means in terms of: 

* what is needed to support each specific mission (radios, routers, 
satellites, computers, information assurance devices, policies); 

* how to allocate network resources to the mission spectrum (storage, 
throughput, bandwidth); and: 

* how to fuse, process, and present extensive FCS sensor data to 
appropriate users. 

The Army and LSI are also working to establish how to maintain the 
network, such as: 

* how to monitor status and performance of the network (hardware 
faults, network quality of service, overall performance); 

* how to implement spectrum management to ensure connectivity and avoid 
interference; and: 

* how to reconfigure the network in real time based on network 
conditions and mission critical traffic. 

As they move ahead, the Army and LSI are faced with significant 
management and technological challenges that place development of FCS's 
network and software at risk. The magnitude, size, and complexity of 
the network and software development are unprecedented in DOD history. 
The Army and LSI have identified and need to address numerous areas of 
high risk such as enterprise network performance and scalability, 
immature network architecture, quality of service on a mobile ad-hoc 
network, end-to-end interoperability with strategic networks of the 
global information grid, and synchronization of FCS with WIN-T and JTRS 
programs, which still do not have mature technologies and are at risk 
of having delayed or incomplete delivery of capabilities to FCS. 
Finally, a recent study by IDA found that the FCS program would likely 
experience additional cost growth because of unplanned software effort, 
unplanned rework during operational testing, and additional work to 
address system-of-systems integration, validation, and performance 
issues identified during testing after the critical design 
review.[Footnote 7] Each of these areas would affect network and 
software development, but the Army believes that IDA did not consider 
the impact of the Army's mitigation efforts. 

Although the requirements process for the FCS information network is 
not yet complete, the LSI and many of its subcontractors are developing 
and testing FCS software. In total, five major software builds are 
planned. Software Build 0 is complete and Build 1 is being tested. The 
most significant issue identified to date is the growth in the 
estimates of the total amount of software to be developed for FCS. 
Early in the program, the Army and LSI projected that about 32 million 
lines of code would be needed. Later, that estimate was increased to 
about 63 million lines of code. As the Army continues to define FCS 
hardware and software subsystem requirements, a new estimate puts the 
total volume of software at about 95 million lines of code. The Army 
and LSI attribute this latest increase to factoring the operating 
system software, something that had not been included previously, into 
their estimate. In terms of actual experience, the lines of code in 
Build 0 were about 6 percent greater than projected and Build 1 were 
about 17 percent greater than projected.[Footnote 8] 

Although the Army and LSI have implemented disciplined software 
practices for developing the network and software, the aggressive pace 
of the program and Army decisions on what it can afford to do during 
development have caused requirements issues at the software developer 
level. While the Army and LSI have implemented practices that have 
proved successful at leading software companies, such as the use of 
repeatable and managed development processes and use of a structured 
management review process to ensure quality development, we found that 
the immature definition of system-level requirements was causing 
problems. For example, the software developers for the 5 of the 52 
major software packages we reviewed report that high-level requirements 
provided to them for decomposition and refinement were poorly defined, 
omitted, or delivered late to the software development process. Also, 
we found that poor or late requirements development have had a 
cascading effect as late delivery or poorly defined requirements on one 
software development effort, in turn, caused other software development 
efforts to be delayed. For example, four of the five software 
developers report that problems with late requirements have caused them 
to do rework or to defer requirements out to future builds because of 
insufficient time. These software developers report that schedule 
compression caused much of this strain which could have been averted if 
they had been allowed sufficient time to adequately understand and 
analyze the requirements. 

Army's User Representative Believes FCS Will Still Provide Needed 
Capabilities: 

Although the Army has not yet demonstrated the technical feasibility of 
FCS's expected capabilities, the Army's user representative expects 
that FCS will provide capabilities that will be as good as or better 
than current forces.[Footnote 9] The user representative's position is 
based on the results of a series of modeling and simulation activities. 
However, it will be several years before field demonstrations validate 
those results. The user representative has a key role in assessing 
whether FCS can deliver capabilities that meet operational 
requirements. According to an Army Training and Doctrine Command 
official, the user representative's current position is that FCS, in 
either an 18-or 14-system configuration, is expected to provide needed 
capabilities and will be as good as or better than current forces. 

The official stated that the user representative's position is based on 
the results of modeling and simulation analyses conducted to date. The 
Army relies heavily on these modeling and simulation analyses in the 
early phases of FCS in cases where actual or live test assets are not 
available. To that end, these analyses began in 2003 and will continue 
throughout the development program. Together, the analyses collectively 
postulate that an FCS-equipped force will outperform current forces on 
many levels, including the ability to affect a larger area of 
operations, accomplish assigned missions faster, survive as well or 
better, kill earlier at longer ranges, and better leverage and enable 
more effective joint operations. In referencing the analyses and 
conclusions to date, the Army official noted that the Army's decision 
to decrease the number of FCS systems from 18 to 14 did not affect the 
FCS brigade combat team's likely capability to prevail in the simulated 
conflicts. However, while the Army has performed modeling and 
simulation analyses with both 18 and 14 systems, it did not make a 
direct comparison of the projected capabilities of FCS with 18 systems 
and FCS with 14 systems because changes in data and other modeling 
aspects precluded such a comparison. 

The official added two caveats to the user community's current 
position. He pointed out that true FCS capability at all levels will 
not be known until demonstration and testing of actual physical assets 
is conducted. Additionally, he noted that the user community will not 
accept FCS if it does not meet minimum operational requirements. 
However, he did indicate that the user community might accept some 
parts of FCS if it did not meet minimum requirements but yielded 
systems that were badly needed and/or performed better than other 
weapon systems available at that time. 

The user community's optimism about FCS capabilities may be premature. 
The Army already has stated that the program adjustment from 18 to 14 
systems saved money but put at risk FCS's ability to reach its full 
tactical and operational potential. Furthermore, it has indicated that 
the adjustment reduced the individual capability of each of the 15 
projected FCS brigade combat teams. At this point, it is unclear 
exactly what FCS capability can be realistically expected because 
modeling and simulation results will not be fully validated by actual 
demonstrations and testing until well in the future. For example, most 
of the manned ground vehicle prototypes are not expected to be 
available until 2011 for developmental and qualification testing. As 
noted by IDA in its 2007 report, what is known is that the Army has 
little experience in developing system-of-systems and in designing for 
a whole system to be more capable than the sum of its parts. Moreover, 
according to IDA, experience teaches that the simulated behavior of 
individual systems and system of systems almost certainly fails to 
capture important aspects of live behavior. 

Key Assessments Planned to Inform 2009 Milestone Review for FCS: 

In commenting on our March 2007 FCS report, DOD indicated that the 
Defense Acquisition Board, in alignment with the FCS system-of-systems' 
preliminary design, would conduct a number of critical assessments to 
support the department's FCS acquisition and budget decisions.[Footnote 
10] It identified one of these as a systems engineering assessment that 
would evaluate the executability of the FCS program and will focus on 
many key areas including requirements development and management, 
understanding the system-of-systems dependencies and interfaces, design 
and requirements trade-off processes, and risk assessment and 
mitigation plans. DOD also stated that a second assessment, to be 
conducted by the Joint Staff, will evaluate the FCS's capabilities 
relative to its role in joint force applications. 

Critical Technologies and Complementary Programs Put FCS at Significant 
Risk: 

Almost 5 years and $12 billion into development, FCS's critical 
technologies remain at low maturity levels. According to the Army's 
latest technology assessment, only two of FCS's 44 critical 
technologies have reached a level of maturity that based on best 
practice standards should have been demonstrated at program start. Even 
applying the Army's less rigorous standards, only 73 percent can be 
considered mature enough to begin system development today. This is not 
to suggest that the technology maturation should have proceeded more 
smoothly or more quickly. Rather, the state of FCS technologies 
accurately reflects the unpredictable nature of the discovery process 
that attends technology development, which is why it is best done 
before development of a system is formally begun. The technological 
immaturity, coupled with incomplete requirements, is a mismatch that 
has prevented the Army from reaching the first critical knowledge point 
for this program-a precursor for cost growth. Many of these immature 
technologies may have an adverse cumulative impact on key FCS 
capabilities such as survivability. In addition, the Army is struggling 
to synchronize the schedules and capabilities of numerous essential 
complementary programs with the FCS program. 

FCS Critical Technologies Not Yet Sufficiently Mature: 

Maturing technologies to Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 7 (fully 
functional prototype demonstrated in an operational environment) prior 
to starting product development is a best practice and a DOD policy 
preference. (See app. III for a complete listing and description of 
TRLs.) For the FCS, this degree of maturity would have meant having had 
all technologies at TRL 7 by May 2003; today, it only has two that have 
reached that level. Although DOD policy prefers the best practice 
standard, it does accept a lower standard--TRL 6 (system model or 
prototype demonstrated in a relevant environment). However, only 32 of 
FCS's 44 critical technologies have attained that lower standard of 
maturity almost 5 years after starting product development. Army 
officials do not expect to mature all FCS's critical technologies to 
this lower standard until at least the preliminary design review in 
2009, at least 6 years late. (App. IV contains a list of all FCS 
critical technologies with their 2006 and 2007 TRL ratings and Army 
projections for attaining TRL 6.) 

Army engineers do not track a technology's progress once it reaches TRL 
6. They maintain that anything beyond TRL 6 is a system integration 
matter and not necessarily technology development. We do not agree with 
this position as integration often involves adapting the technologies 
to the space, weight, and power demands of their intended environment. 
To a large extent, this is what it means to achieve TRL 7. This is work 
that needs to be accomplished before the critical design review and is 
likely to pose additional trade-offs that the Army will have to make to 
reconcile its requirements with what is possible from a technology and 
engineering standpoint. Table 1 shows the number of FCS critical 
technologies that have matured to different levels during the program's 
history and presents the Army's projections through the production 
decision. 

Table 1: FCS Critical Technology Maturation--Actual and Projected: 

TRLs greater than or equal to 7: 
Development Start: 0; 
August 2006: 1; 
July 2007: 2; 
2009 Preliminary design review: 2; 
2011 Critical design review: 5; 
2013 Production decision: 44. 

TRLs = 6: 
Development Start: 10; 
August 2006: 34; 
July 2007: 30; 
2009 Preliminary design review: 41; 
2011 Critical design review: 39; 
2013 Production decision: 0. 

TRLs less than or equal to 5; 
Development Start: 42; 
August 2006: 11; 
July 2007: 12; 
2009 Preliminary design review: 1; 
2011 Critical design review: 0; 
2013 Production decision: 0. 

Source: U.S. Army (data); GAO (analysis and presentation). 

[End of table] 

Throughout the 5 years of FCS development, multiple Army assessments 
illustrate that the maturation of critical technologies has not been 
predictable. Although the Army has matured a few critical technologies 
since last year, it is behind the ambitious pace it had set just 2 
years ago (see fig. 3). 

Figure 3: Comparison of TRL 6 Projections: 

[See PDF for image] 

This figure is a multiple line graph that represents a Comparison of 
TRL 6 Projections. The vertical axis of the graph represents percentage 
of technologies at TRL 6 from 0 to 100. The horizontal axis of the 
graph represents years from 2003 to 2009. Lines are depicted 
representing the following assessments: 

April 2003; 
April 2005; 
September 2006; 
July 2007; 

Source: U.S. Army (data); GAO (analysis and presentation). 

[End of figure] 

When the development effort began in 2003, the Army expected to have 
100 percent of FCS's critical technologies matured to a TRL 6 by 2006. 
Since that time, the Army has updated its projections on numerous 
occasions. Each of those revised estimates assumed that almost all of 
FCS's critical technologies would be mature to TRL 6 by 2009, in time 
for the program's preliminary design review. (Currently, the threat 
warning sensor for the active protection system is not expected to be 
mature to TRL 6 until sometime in 2010.) The Army's September 2006 
assessment projected that 80 percent of FCS critical technologies would 
mature to TRL 6 by 2007, while the most recent assessment revealed that 
only 73 percent of those technologies have actually satisfied the 
conditions of TRL 6. 

While the September 2006 critical technology assessment suggested 
progress, the most recent assessment revealed that the Army misjudged 
the maturity of a few critical technologies and that the projected 
dates for other technologies achieving TRL 6 have slipped. According to 
the Army's latest technology assessment, two technologies have reached 
full maturity (TRL 7)--Health Monitoring and Casualty Care Intervention 
and Excalibur Precision Munitions. According to Army analyses, the 
maturity assessment for Health Monitoring and Casualty Care 
Intervention is based on existing technology being fielded to Stryker 
brigades. Nevertheless, FCS vehicles have not been produced yet, and 
integration of this technology onto those vehicles will ultimately 
determine their true maturity for FCS. The first increment of Excalibur 
is being used by existing howitzers, but recent Army reports identified 
a risk that the round may not be entirely compatible with the proposed 
NLOS-C design. Even for these mature systems, the Army must be aware of 
the potential integration issues, which may not reveal themselves until 
the Army more fully develops the FCS platform designs. Despite these 
examples, other technologies are now rated less mature, projected 
maturity dates have slipped, and others have shown little advancement 
over the years. 

Since the start of the program, the Army has reduced the ratings of 
seven FCS critical technologies. Five of these critical technologies 
are still rated as less mature than they were in previous assessments, 
and three of those adjustments happened within the past year. Last 
year, the active protection system was rated as a TRL 6, but the Army 
had based this assessment on a concept that was not ultimately selected 
for further development in FCS.[Footnote 11] Instead, the Army selected 
an active protection concept that was less mature, but which the Army 
believed was a better design for satisfying all FCS active protection 
requirements. Consequently, the Army's most recent assessment rated the 
active protection system as a TRL 5. Two WIN-T technology ratings were 
also adjusted to better reflect their maturity. The WIN-T program has a 
turbulent history, including technical challenges, and is being 
restructured in an effort to improve program execution. As a result, 
the assessed maturity of WIN-T technologies was reduced. 

While the Army did manage to advance the maturity of six FCS critical 
technologies, this progress must be put into context. Because some 
critical technologies that were approaching full maturity were removed 
and the TRLs of other technologies were reduced, it effectively 
counteracted the progress achieved over the past year. This condition 
resulted in FCS technologies advancing at a slower pace than 
anticipated. In addition, some technologies have matured only one level 
over nearly 5 years of development. Distributed Fusion Management is 
the technology that correlates the large amounts of sensor data from 
numerous sensor sources and ultimately contributes to the maintenance 
of the common operational picture created with data from the 
distributed network nodes. Fusing sensor data is important for creating 
situational awareness and enabling FCS forces to see first and 
understand first. This technology had been assessed as TRL 4 when the 
FCS program began development 5 years ago and advanced to TRL 5 in the 
Army's most recent assessment. 

Based on the Army's current assessment, eight FCS critical technologies 
were assessed as being no more mature, and in some cases even less 
mature, than they were when the program began. For example, Rapid 
Battlespace Deconfliction, which is designed to help manage airspace 
and airborne assets and potentially reduce the risk of collisions, was 
rated TRL 6 at the time of the first independent assessment and has 
since been reduced to a TRL 5. In almost 5 years of FCS development, 
the Army has not yet advanced the maturity for quality of service 
algorithms. These algorithms are vitally important for ensuring 
successful operation of the FCS network, particularly in regard to the 
Army's desire for FCS forces to see first, understand first, act first, 
and finish decisively. Failure to provide a high quality of service 
network will significantly degrade force effectiveness, and could have 
devastating consequences in a force that trades armor for information. 
Further, aided target recognition, which aids FCS in seeing and acting 
first and contributes to survivability, has been rated a TRL 5 since 
the FCS program began. 

The uneven nature of the technology assessments, coupled with the lack 
of progress for some technologies, does not inspire confidence that the 
Army can successfully mature all FCS critical technologies to TRL 6 in 
time for the preliminary design review in 2009. While the most recent 
assessments were conducted by the Army without independent review, the 
Army expects to have an independently reviewed assessment available for 
the 2009 preliminary design review. This assessment should provide an 
objective technical opinion regarding the status of FCS critical 
technologies, enabling more knowledgeable decisions at the 2009 
milestone review. 

Immature Technologies Have Cumulative Effects: Survivability as an 
Example: 

While the performance of individual technologies is important, the 
potential collective or cumulative effect they can have on the 
performance of FCS is also important. The multiple technologies that 
are critical to FCS survivability are illustrative. The FCS concept for 
survivability breaks from tradition because it involves more than just 
heavy armor to protect against impacts from enemy munitions. Instead, 
FCS survivability involves a layered approach that consists of 
detecting the enemy first to avoid being fired upon; if fired upon, 
using an active protection system to neutralize the incoming munition 
before it hits the FCS vehicle; and finally, having sufficient armor to 
deflect those munitions that make it through the preceding layers. Each 
of these layers depends on currently immature technologies to provide 
the aggregate survivability needed for FCS vehicles. Many of the 
technologies intended for survivability have experienced problems in 
development or have otherwise made little progress in maturity over the 
5 years of the FCS program. To the extent these technologies do not 
mature or under-perform, the effect on overall survivability must be 
assessed. This also holds true for other key performance parameters, 
such as lethality, sustainability, and networked battle command. 

The first several layers of defense best illustrate the fundamental FCS 
concept of replacing mass with superior information in order to see and 
hit the enemy first rather than relying on heavy armor to withstand a 
hit. These layers rely on critical technologies that are largely 
unproven and that have not yet demonstrated that they can provide 
adequate information superiority as a substitute for heavy armor to 
protect Army soldiers. One such critical technology is the JTRS. 
According to the Army's most recent critical technology assessment, 
JTRS radios have achieved a TRL 6. However, according to the JTRS 
program office, there are three JTRS subtechnologies that have not yet 
matured to the point where the entire radio can be rated a TRL 6. 
Another critical technology that contributes to FCS's first layer of 
survivability is wideband networking waveforms, which work in 
conjunction with the JTRS radios. A host of technology, cost, and 
schedule problems have slowed waveform and radio development, and in 
2006, DOD approved a JTRS program restructure to address these 
problems. However, the restructure is incomplete, and waveform 
development is behind schedule. 

The active protection system is part of the comprehensive FCS hit 
avoidance system architecture and will protect the vehicles from 
incoming rounds, like rocket-propelled grenades and antitank missiles. 
The Army has rated this technology as TRL 5. According to the most 
recent critical technology assessment, the Army expects to mature most 
of the active protection system suite to TRL 6 by fiscal year 2008. The 
Army does not expect the active protection system sensor to mature to 
TRL 6 until sometime after the 2009 preliminary design review. Based on 
current test schedules, the Army could demonstrate TRL 6 for the short- 
range solution by that time. However, a number of test events for the 
short-range solution, some of which inform future events, have slipped. 
In addition, demonstration of the long-range solution to TRL 6 is not 
scheduled to happen until fiscal year 2010. The Army must also address 
the potential repercussions from blast fragmentation and the 
corresponding risk of collateral damage and fratricide. 

The Army has been developing lightweight hull and vehicle armor as a 
substitute for traditional, heavy armor. The Army is developing 
lightweight armor for FCS vehicles in three iterations. The Army 
believes the first version will satisfy FCS threshold protection and 
weight requirements and is planned to be used in the manned ground 
vehicle prototypes. The Army has begun development of a second armor 
iteration with the goal of formulating materials that will meet FCS 
objective survivability requirements, but Army engineers do not expect 
those designs to be lighter than the first iteration's designs. The 
third armor iteration will focus on weight reduction initiatives with 
the goal of satisfying objective requirements for both protection and 
weight. The Army hopes that the third iteration will be ready to use in 
the initial production of the manned ground vehicles. 

During the first iteration, Army engineers formulated a number of 
different armor recipes in an attempt to satisfy threshold vehicle 
protection requirements. They have tested a number of these recipes 
using smaller sample sizes called coupons, but only more robust testing 
of larger representative armor samples will determine whether the 
proposed solutions will provide the necessary protection. The Army 
plans to conduct such testing later this year on larger-scale samples 
of the different armor recipes. The Army believes this testing will 
prove the armor technology to TRL 6. However, should this approach 
fail, the Army plans to use heavier hull and vehicle armor that will 
require trade-offs for space and weight. 

The overall survivability of FCS-equipped units will depend not only on 
the contribution of technologies to each layer of survivability, but 
also on the cumulative contribution from layer to layer. For example, 
if the information network, active protection, and armor each under- 
perform by 10 percent, the Army will first have to know this and second 
be able to assess the cumulative impact on overall survivability. As 
system-level requirements are defined and allocated, and technologies 
demonstrate their actual capabilities, additional design trades may be 
necessary and concessions made that could impact key performance 
parameters like lethality, survivability, sustainability, and networked 
battle command. 

Synchronizing FCS with Complementary Programs Is a Continuing 
Challenge: 

In addition to the 14 systems and the network that compose the FCS 
program, its full capabilities depend on at least 50 complementary 
programs managed outside of FCS, some of which are also critical 
technologies. The Army has been unable to fully synchronize the 
schedule and content of the FCS program with that of complementary 
programs. The Army has identified problems that raise concerns about 
the likelihood that many complementary systems will deliver the 
required capabilities when needed. In some cases, complementary 
programs have faced funding issues due to evolving FCS requirements, 
and there are examples where lack of coordination between FCS and 
complementary program officials have stalled efforts aimed at 
synchronizing programs and resolving cost, schedule, and technical 
issues. 

When the FCS program began, the Army concluded that it would need to 
interoperate or integrate with as many as 170 other programs to help 
FCS meet its operational requirements. The Army has stated previously 
that as many as 52 of these programs are essential for meeting FCS key 
performance parameters. As a result, the Army closely monitors these 
programs to determine if they are synchronized with the cost, schedule, 
and performance expectations of the FCS program. While the Army has 
produced a list of complementary programs that need management 
attention, that list has fluctuated, and although many complementary 
programs have been mainstays on the list, the Army has had difficulties 
synchronizing the schedules and capabilities of those systems with FCS. 

A number of challenges have contributed to the Army's inability to 
synchronize complementary programs with FCS. A few of these challenges 
are presented below. 

* Both the JTRS family of programs and the WIN-T program are facing 
technology maturation problems of their own, and they are at risk of 
delayed or reduced delivery of capabilities to the FCS program. 

* Some complementary programs are not adequately funded to conduct the 
additional development activities needed to satisfy FCS requirements. 
For example, the Army wants to integrate an upgraded variant of the 
Javelin missile onto the Armed Robotic Vehicle-Light to defeat tanks at 
close range, but the Javelin program has not secured funding for this 
effort. In another case, the Army planned to use the MK-44 precision 
air burst munition to satisfy a requirement that infantry vehicles have 
the ability to defeat light armor vehicles and groups of soldiers at 
short ranges. Based on Army analyses, the MK-44 will not satisfy the 
antipersonnel portion of the requirement, and no funding is available 
to improve the round's performance. 

* As the Army continues examining complementary programs, it is 
discovering unanticipated technical and integration issues that were 
not evident earlier. For example, the Army plans to use Excalibur 
rounds with the NLOS-C, but engineers have discovered some 
compatibility issues that are being addressed. In a similar assessment 
of the Airborne Surveillance, Target Acquisition, and Mine Detection 
System, the Army discovered a number of issues that included 
performance requirement gaps, software integration gaps, and a risk 
that onboard processing may not be sufficient to execute the required 
missions. 

* In some cases, ineffective coordination has created situations where 
either FCS requirements were not adequately defined for key 
complementary programs or significant technical issues were not 
promptly addressed. FCS engineers discovered problems with JTRS radios 
related to storage temperatures and shock and vibration on the FCS 
ground vehicles. Efforts to resolve this problem have stalled because 
not all the affected parties have been included in the joint 
engineering team dialogue. In another example, JTRS requirements are 
not aligned with current force vehicles. The FCS program has not 
received a unified set of requirements from the user representative for 
spin out 1 current-force vehicles. 

Complementary programs have their own acquisition and development 
challenges, much like the FCS program, and they have their own approved 
requirements documents and acquisition program baselines that cannot 
easily be changed--hence the difficulties in synchronizing the schedule 
and content of the FCS with that of the complementary programs. 

FCS officials have been revising the list of essential complementary 
programs, in part because of the risks revealed during the 
synchronization process, but also in response to the Army's competing 
budget priorities. Program officials said they planned to complete the 
revised list by the end of calendar year 2007, but that has not 
occurred yet. Instead, Army leaders have acknowledged the problems 
associated with the synchronization of FCS with its complementary 
programs and will have to refocus their efforts and work to improve the 
situation. They did not promise an immediate resolution and acknowledge 
that FCS program officials may have to temper their expectations for 
complementary programs because the Army may be unable to afford all the 
systems that were once considered "essential." Part of the solution may 
also involve building FCS capabilities over time. 

Finally, the Army and LSI have much work to do to define the interfaces 
not only between FCS systems and the complementary programs but also 
with the FCS system-of-systems. Some 500 interface documents--which 
describe the mechanical, electrical, and logical interface between two 
subsystems or systems for those systems to work together--will 
ultimately be needed. The Army and LSI have completed 61 as of late 
2007 and expect to complete about 261 by the time of the preliminary 
design review in 2009. 

Schedule-Driven Acquisition Strategy Will Demonstrate FCS Capabilities 
after Key Decision Points: 

When FCS reaches its planned preliminary design review in 2009, the 
Army will have expended over 60 percent of its development funds and 
schedule. Much still needs to be done with the remaining 40 percent of 
resources--including technology maturation, system integration and 
demonstration, and preparation for production--in short, attaining all 
three knowledge points fundamental to an acquisition. Although the 
manned ground vehicle designs depend on the performance of the 
information network, demonstration of the network will take place after 
the vehicles are designed and prototyped. Most tests to demonstrate 
whether the FCS system-of-systems performs as required will take place 
after the low-rate production decision, precluding opportunities to 
change course if warranted by test results and increasing the 
likelihood of costly discoveries in late development or during 
production. The cost of correcting problems in those stages is high 
because program expenditures and schedules are less forgiving than in 
the early stages of a program. 

Figure 4 compares a knowledge-based approach to developing a weapon 
system (consistent with DOD policy) with the approach taken for FCS. 

Figure 4: Differences between Best Practices Acquisition Approach and 
FCS Approach: 

[See PDF for image] 

This figure illustrates time lines for the two approaches. The 
following information is illustrated: 

Best practices approach (knowledge driven): 

Knowledge acquired over time: 

Technology development; 
Development start: KP1 and PDR; 
System development and demonstration: KP2 and CDR; 
Low-rate production start: KP 3; 
Production. 

FCS approach (schedule driven): 

2000 to 2013: Technology development; 
2013: FCS KP1, KP2 and KP3? 
2003 to 2016: System development and Demonstration; 
2009: PDR; 
2011: CDR; 
2013 and beyond: Production. 

KP 1: (Knowledge point 1): technologies and resources match 
requirements; 
KP 2: (Knowledge point 2): design performs as expected; 
KP 3: (Knowledge point 3): production can meet cost, schedule, and 
quality targets; 
PDR: Preliminary design review; 
CDR: Critical design review. 

Source: Army (data); GAO (analysis and presentation). 

[End of figure] 

Under a knowledge-based approach, the FCS program would have achieved a 
match between requirements and resources before entering system 
development and demonstration. If the match had occurred in 2003, the 
FCS program would have held its preliminary design review some 3 to 5 
years ago, have nearly completed design integration by now, and be 
approaching a critical design review in the next year. However, the 
Army moved ahead with the program's start without having this match in 
place, and consequently, the technology development and system 
development and demonstration phases will overlap by several years. 
Now, the Army is moving towards another set of major decision points, 
the preliminary design review in 2009 and subsequent milestone review, 
and it may not have sufficient knowledge for these reviews either. 

As illustrated in figure 5 below, the program has numerous knowledge 
gaps that must be closed before the performance of the FCS, as well as 
its cost and schedule, can be stated with confidence. 

Figure 5: FCS Knowledge Gaps: 

[See PDF for image] 

The figure is a complex graph containing lines, stacked bars and data 
points. The left vertical axis of the graph represents knowledge points 
from 0 to 3. The right vertical axis of the graph represents remaining 
funding in billions. the horizontal axis of the graph represents years 
from 2004 to 2013. An ideal knowledge progression is depicted beginning 
at knowledge point 1 in 2003, progressing to knowledge point 2 in 2008 
(best practice CDR), and culminating at knowledge point 3 in 2013. A 
stacked bar for each year represents a combination of the following: 
* Projected design knowledge (after current date); 
* Demonstrated design knowledge; 
* Projected technology knowledge (after current date); 
* Demonstrated technology knowledge. 

A line representing remaining funds is also depicted. 

Source: Army (data); GAO (analysis and presentation). 

[End of figure] 

The first gap between technology maturity and firm requirements has 
persisted since 2003, as discussed earlier. The second gap occurs at 
the program's critical design review, scheduled for 2011. Ideally, this 
review, which confirms that a design performs as expected, occurs about 
halfway through a program's development schedule. In the case of FCS, 
the program will be 80 percent of the way through its development 
schedule and cost before the review is held. Furthermore, the schedule 
leaves little time to gain knowledge between the critical design review 
(knowledge point 2) and the low-rate initial production decision 
(knowledge point 3) because the Army has scheduled only 2 years between 
these events. Moreover, the critical design review is typically the 
point at which a program begins building the fully integrated, 
production-representative prototypes whose testing will prove the 
design's maturity and form the basis for a low-rate initial production 
decision. Instead, the FCS will rely on earlier, less mature 
prototypes. Therefore, a decision to proceed into low-rate production 
will be made without a mature design, and will likely lead to costly 
rework or further delays. 

The FCS network illustrates knowledge gaps that the Army faces in 
developing the FCS system--a substantial amount of development work 
remains before the Army and LSI can demonstrate the full expected 
capability of the FCS network. To date, only basic network concepts, 
such as connecting and exchanging information among limited network 
nodes, has been demonstrated (Experiment 1.1). The Army plans to 
demonstrate introduction and use of sensor information during this 
year's spin out demonstration; other incremental demonstrations will 
follow. The first major demonstration of FCS network is limited user 
test number 3, scheduled for fiscal year 2012, which will be at least a 
year after critical design review and about a year before the start of 
core FCS production. Recently, Congress legislated that a network 
demonstration be held prior to obligation of FCS production funding at 
Milestone C.[Footnote 12] Even with this test, by then, other FCS 
system developments--such as manned ground vehicles--will have had 
their critical design reviews; their developmental prototypes will be 
in testing; and they will be getting ready to start initial production 
in fiscal 2013. Well in excess of 80 percent of planned development 
funds will have been expended by this point in time. In short, the 
manned ground vehicles may be proceeding well in advance of network 
development and demonstration, given that their designs--and in fact, 
the entire FCS--depend on the network's performance. At this point, it 
is not certain what level of network demonstration will be needed 
before decision makers can confidently approve manned ground vehicles 
and other FCS systems for initial production. 

FCS testing is particularly risky in terms of its relation to 
demonstration of design and production process maturity (knowledge 
point 3) because testing of actual capabilities occurs late in the 
program--shortly before and after major decision points, including the 
low-rate production decision in 2013. Moreover, the period for testing, 
analyzing, fixing, and retesting is both too late and too short to 
support major decisions. The majority of testing through 2012 is 
limited in scope and more aimed at confidence-building than 
demonstrating key capabilities. Early test efforts focus on experiments 
and development testing of individual systems. Most development 
prototypes will not be available until 2010 and later for testing and 
demonstrations. Table 2 below shows the schedule for FCS key test 
events. 

Table 2: Key FCS Test Event Schedule: 

No.1; 
Event: Experiment 1.1; 
Systems: Ground sensors and other emulators, radio systems, and other 
systems; 
Description: Provides early and limited assessment of abilities of 
selected network systems; 
Dates as of 3/07: 7/06 to 6/07; 
Dates as of 10/07: Complete. 

No. 2; 
Event: Experiment 2; 
Systems: Command and control, ground sensors, communications, lethality 
enablers, and other systems; 
Description: Early experiment with several FCS systems at the 
battalion, company, and platoon echelons; 
Dates as of 3/07: 1/08 to 1/09; 
Dates as of 10/07: 7/06 to 7/08. 

No. 3; 
Event: Spin out 1 Technical Field Test; 
Systems: Unmanned Ground Sensors, Non-Line-of-Sight Launch System, 
Vehicle Kits; 
Description: Controlled field test of systems included in spin out 1 to 
current forces; 
Dates as of 3/07: [Empty]; 
Dates as of 10/07: 2/08 to 3/08. 

No: 4; 
Event: Spin out Limited User Test 1; 
Systems: Various computer systems, ground sensors, and missile launch 
system; 
Description: Battalion level test with current force equipment and 
selected systems being "spun out" to current forces; 
Dates as of 3/07: 3/08 to 4/08; 
Dates as of 10/07: 6/08 to 7/08. 

Preliminary design review: 
Dates as of 3/07: 2nd quarter fiscal year 2009; 
Dates as of 10/07: Same. 

Defense Acquisition Board milestone review: 
Dates as of 3/07: 3rd quarter fiscal year 2009; 
Dates as of 10/07: Same. 

No.5; 
Event: Early Ground Vehicle Delivery; 
Systems: Early prototype of the Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon manned ground 
vehicle; 
Description: Initial prototype with commonality with later prototypes; 
Dates as of 3/07: 3rd quarter fiscal year 2008; 
Dates as of 10/07: Same. 

No. 6; 
Event: Integrated Mission Test 2; 
Systems: Integration laboratory, simulations, common operating system 
and other items; 
Description: First system-of-systems test in integration phase 2 and 
indicator of network functionality; 
Dates as of 3/07: 8/09 to 11/10; 
Dates as of 10/07: 2nd and 3rd quarter fiscal year 2010. 

No. 7; 
Event: Aerial Vehicle; 
Systems: Prototype of the Class IV Fire Scout; 
Description: First flight of class IV unmanned aerial vehicle in 
integrated qualification testing; 
Dates as of 3/07: 3/10; 
Dates as of 10/07: 11/2010. 

No. 8; 
Event: Spin out 1 Technical Field Test 2; 
Systems: Surrogate ground vehicles with spin out 1 systems; 
Description: Field test of maturing FCS network and battle command; 
Dates as of 3/07: [Empty]; 
Dates as of 10/07: 4/10 to 7/10. 

No. 9; 
Event: Limited User Test 2; 
Systems: Small number of unmanned aerial vehicles and a task organized 
platoon; 
Description: Assess network maturity and capabilities of aerial 
vehicles in operational environment; 
Dates as of 3/07: 2/10 to 4/10; 
Dates as of 10/07: 3rd and 4th quarter fiscal year 2010. 

No. 10; 
Event: Spin out 1 Production Technical Field Test; 
Systems: Production unmanned ground sensors, vehicle kits, Non-Line-of-
Sight Launch System; 
Description: Controlled field test of production systems included in 
spin out 1 to current forces; 
Dates as of 3/07: [Empty]; 
Dates as of 10/07: 4/10 to 7/10. 

No. 11; 
Event: Spin out 1 Initial Operational Test; 
Systems: Various computer systems, ground sensors, and missile launch 
system; 
Description: Operational test of selected systems and their 
effectiveness with current forces; 
Dates as of 3/07: 4th quarter fiscal year 2010; 
Dates as of 10/07: 1st quarter fiscal year 2011. 

No. 12; 
Event: Experiment 3; 
Systems: Command, control, communications, computer, sensors, Non-Line-
of-Sight Cannon, surrogate platforms; 
Description: Demonstrate the integration of selected FCS 
communications, displays, sensor components and capabilities, unmanned 
air and ground systems, Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon, and lethality and 
logistics enablers; 
Dates as of 3/07: [Empty]; 
Dates as of 10/07: 12/09 to 7/10. 

Critical design review: 
Dates as of 3/07: 2nd quarter fiscal year 2011; 
Dates as of 10/07: Same. 

No. 13; 
Event: Preproduction Prototypes Delivery; 
Systems: Non-Line-of-Sight Cannon and other manned ground vehicles; 
Description: Preproduction prototype delivery of manned ground vehicles 
with common features; 
Dates as of 3/07: 3rd quarter fiscal year 2010 to 4th quarter fiscal 
year 2011; Dates as of 10/07: 
3rd quarter fiscal year 2008 to 4th quarter fiscal year 2012. 

No. 14; 
Event: Technical Field Test 3; 
Systems: Field test of the brigade combat team with prototypes; 
Description: Important test that deals with maturing the network and 
confirms important interfaces and interoperability; 
Dates as of 3/07: 10/11 to 3/12; 
Dates as of 10/07: 2nd quarter fiscal year 2012 to 3rd quarter fiscal 
year 2012. 

No. 15; 
Event: Integrated Qualification Test 3; 
Systems: All manned ground vehicles and remaining unmanned ground 
vehicles, aerial vehicles and ground sensors; 
Description: Integrated qualification tests for majority of FCS systems 
including preproduction representative prototypes in their core 
threshold configurations; 
Dates as of 3/07: 8/10 to 1/12; 
Dates as of 10/07: 2nd quarter fiscal year 2010 to 1st quarter fiscal 
year 2013. 

No. 16; 
Event: Limited User Test 3; 
Systems: Some of all systems deployed in two companies with the 
network; 
Description: Assesses the brigade combat team small unit capabilities; 
Dates as of 3/07: 4/12 to 5/12; 
Dates as of 10/07: 4th quarter fiscal year 2012 to 1st quarter fiscal 
year 2013. 

Low-rate initial production decision: 
Dates as of 3/07: 2nd quarter fiscal year 2013; 
Dates as of 10/07: Same. 

No. 17; 
Event: Production and Deployment Technical Field Test 1; 
Systems: Production core FCS systems; 
Description: Controlled field test of core FCS systems; 
Dates as of 3/07: [Empty]; 
Dates as of 10/07: 4/14 to 8/14. 

No. 18; 
Event: Integrated Verification Testing; 
Systems: All FCS platforms; 
Description: Specification verification and evaluation of production 
platforms; 
Dates as of 3/07: [Empty]; 
Dates as of 10/07: 10/13 to 12/16. 

No. 19; 
Event: Production and Deployment Limited User Test; 
Systems: All manned ground vehicles and some unmanned systems; 
Description: Complete full-up system-level tests of all systems to 
production standards; 
Dates as of 3/07: 4th quarter fiscal year 2014; 
Dates as of 10/07: 4th quarter fiscal year 2014 to 3rd quarter fiscal 
year 2015. 

Initial operating capability: 
Dates as of 3/07: 3rd quarter fiscal year 2015; 
Dates as of 10/07: Same. 

No. 20; 
Event: Live Fire Test; 
Systems: All individual systems; 
Description: Live fire tests with complete and functional systems; 
Dates as of 3/07: 2014 to 2016; 
Dates as of 10/07: 4th quarter fiscal year 2014 to 4th quarter fiscal 
year 2016. 

No. 21; 
Event: Initial Operational Test & Evaluation; 
Systems: Brigade combat team and all of the systems involved; 
Description: Full spectrum operations with production representative 
systems in a realistic, operational live environment; 
Dates as of 3/07: 3rd and 4th quarter fiscal year 2016; 
Dates as of 10/07: 4th quarter fiscal year 2016 to 1st quarter fiscal 
year 2017. 

Full-rate production decision: 
Dates as of 3/07: 2nd quarter fiscal year 2017; 
Dates as of 10/07: Same. 

Full operating capability: 
Dates as of 3/07: 3rd quarter fiscal year 2017; 
Dates as of 10/07: Same. 

Source: FCS Test and Evaluation Master Plan and FCS Program Office 
(data); GAO (analysis and presentation). 

[End of table] 

As shown in table 2, a key system-of-systems level test scheduled 
before the low-rate production decision is the Limited User Test 3 in 
2012 to assess brigade combat team capabilities. This test will be the 
first large-scale FCS test that will include a majority of the 
developmental prototypes and a large operational unit and occurs only 
one year before the low-rate production decision. The Army is planning 
to have prototypes of all FCS systems available for testing prior to 
low-rate initial production, but these prototypes are not expected to 
be production-representative and may not be fully integrated. Whereas 
the testing of fully-integrated, production-representative prototypes 
demonstrates design maturity, this knowledge point will not be attained 
until after the low-rate production decision is made. 

The IDA reported in 2007 that the Army's plan for testing and analyzing 
in one phase and then fixing and retesting in the next phase could 
cause problems in FCS because the test and analysis half of one phase 
overlaps the development half of the next phase. The IDA pointed out 
that this means test results from one phase cannot easily be available 
for use in the next phase. It noted that the program's later phases are 
particularly at risk of failing to capture rework requirements 
identified by earlier experimentation and testing. It predicts that the 
compressed schedule of development and test events, together with dense 
schedule dependencies among program activities, will mean that any 
rework required will lead to a program-wide schedule slip. In 
anticipation of these and other related consequences, the IDA predicts 
that there needs to be at least one cycle of additional FCS test and 
evaluation beyond the current planned test sequence in order to resolve 
outstanding issues from previous, overlapping phases and complete 
development. 

As mentioned earlier, a systems engineering assessment will be 
conducted on the FCS program for the 2009 milestone review. This 
assessment will be an important input for the 2009 review because it 
will include an evaluation of risks associated with the FCS acquisition 
strategy, test plan, and key complementary programs. It will also 
evaluate the program's system engineering plan for reasonable exit 
criteria associated with the critical design review and production 
readiness. 

Production Commitments Are Planned to Be Made Early Despite Late 
Demonstration of FCS Capabilities: 

While the FCS low-rate production decision for the core FCS program is 
to be held in fiscal year 2013, in fact, production commitments are 
planned to begin in fiscal years 2008 and 2009 with production for the 
first of a series of three planned spin out efforts and the early 
versions of the NLOS-C vehicle. When considering these activities, 
along with long-lead and facilitization investments associated with the 
production of FCS core systems, a total of $11.9 billion in production 
money will have been appropriated and another $6.9 billion requested by 
2013. Including development funds, $39 billion will have been 
appropriated and another $8 billion requested for FCS. As noted 
previously, key demonstrations of FCS capabilities will not yet have 
taken place. Also, in April 2007, the Army announced its intention to 
contract with the LSI for the low-rate production of the first 3 
brigade combat teams of FCS systems--some 6 years in advance of the low-
rate production decision--in addition to the production of the FCS spin 
out items and the early production of NLOS-C vehicles. In so doing, the 
Army departed from its pre-development phase philosophy of keeping the 
LSI focused on development versus production, ceding its option to 
contract directly with the producers of the individual FCS systems. 
This decision makes an already unusually close relationship between the 
Army and the LSI even closer, and heightens the oversight challenges 
FCS presents. 

Spin Out Procurement to Begin before Testing Completed: 

The Army has started a process to spin out selected FCS technologies 
and systems to current Army forces. The first spin out systems will be 
tested and evaluated in the coming year and a production decision is 
planned in 2009. However, the testing up to that point will feature 
some surrogate subsystems rather than the fully developed subsystems 
that would ultimately be deployed to current Army forces. The Army also 
has general plans for a second and third round of spin outs but, 
according to Army officials, has not funded them. 

In 2004, the Army revised its acquisition strategy to bring selected 
technologies and systems to current forces via spin outs while 
development of the core FCS program is underway. This strategy provides 
for deployment of FCS capabilities to current forces through three spin 
out efforts. The first spin out has already started, the second is 
scheduled to start in 2010, and the third in 2012. Each spin out is to 
have its own production decision point. The Army expects these spin 
outs to incrementally field some capabilities to the current forces as 
well as provide opportunities to test, experiment, and learn for the 
FCS core program. In 2006, the Army established the Army Evaluation 
Task Force to use, evaluate, and train with the spin out capabilities. 
This unit also is expected to refine FCS doctrine and other matters. 

Spin out 1 includes development, testing, procurement, and related 
installation and training activities necessary to integrate initial 
capabilities with 3 current force vehicles--the Abrams tank, the 
Bradley vehicle, and the High-Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle-- 
and to field unattended ground sensors and the Non-Line-of-Sight Launch 
System. Planned capabilities, added to these vehicles via modification 
kits, also include two radios from the JTRS, an integrated computer 
system, and early versions of the system-of-systems common operating 
environment and battle command software subsystems. The Army expects 
spin out 1 capabilities to address current force gaps in situational 
awareness, force protection, and lethality and, if found to have 
sufficient military utility, plans to start fielding them to 
operational units in fiscal year 2010. According to the Army, it has 
fully budgeted for developing and procuring these spin out 1 
capabilities, after a go-ahead decision from the Defense Acquisition 
Board. Once approved by the board, the Army plans to begin procurement 
of long-lead production items for spin out 1 in fiscal year 2008. It 
estimates spending about $178 million total on spin out 1 development 
in fiscal years 2008 to 2012 and approximately $2.6 billion on spin out 
1 procurement in fiscal years 2008 to 2013. Procurement of these items 
will continue for many years in that the Army plans to field them to 
all current force units. 

The Army is now integrating the spin out capabilities with current 
force vehicles. These capabilities consist of hardware and software 
that are largely stand-alone systems, several of which were in 
development before the FCS program was initiated. For example, both the 
JTRS and unattended weapon system predate the start of FCS in 2003. 
Taken together, these spin out 1 capabilities serve as a starting point 
for FCS and represent only a fraction of the total capability that the 
Army plans for FCS to provide. 

The Army plans to begin testing spin out 1 capabilities in fiscal year 
2008 and finish testing them in fiscal year 2010. It anticipates an 
initial production decision on spin out 1 capabilities in January 2009. 
At this decision, the Army plans to request authorization to produce a 
limited quantity of production items for use as test assets for 
operational testing and for production ramp-up. Before the production 
decision, there are several major test events that help the Army 
Evaluation Task Force evaluate the contribution of spin out 1 
capabilities. These tests include a technical field test in the spring 
of 2008 to verify technical aspects of the capabilities, a force 
development test and evaluation in the early summer of 2008 to validate 
requirements and training associated with the capabilities, and a 
limited user test in mid-summer 2008 to operationally test the 
capabilities. However, none of these tests will use the fully 
functional JTRS radios or associated software that is to be provided to 
the current forces at spin out 1 fielding. Instead, because the JTRS 
radios and their software will not be fully developed at that time, the 
Army plans to use engineering development versions of the radios for 
ground vehicles and surrogate non-JTRS hardware and software. 

The Army believes that this test strategy mitigates risk and maintains 
that it will have the fully-capable JTRS radios and software for spin 
out 1 testing that is to be conducted shortly after the initial 
production decision. However, this approach is not without risk. First, 
as stated by Army officials, testing with surrogates will not 
necessarily provide quality measurements to gauge system performance. 
Second, as noted by the IDA, the Army may have to redesign if the fully 
developed and certified JTRS radios have different form, fit, function, 
and interoperability characteristics than expected. In short, the Army 
will be accepting sizable risks in deciding to produce the spin out 
capabilities before tests finish evaluating how well they can address 
current force capability gaps. 

In addition to spin out 1, the Army also has plans for spin outs 2 and 
3. However, those spin outs are less well-defined than spin out 1, and 
Army officials have stated that they are not yet funded. The 
capabilities planned for spin out 2, which is scheduled for the fiscal 
year 2010 to 2012 time frame, include upgraded versions of JTRS radios, 
an active protection system, and a mast-mounted sensor for the Stryker 
armored combat vehicle. Under spin out 3, which is planned for fiscal 
years 2012 to 2014, capabilities may include some FCS-developed small 
unmanned ground vehicles and unmanned airborne assets as well as the 
full FCS battle command capability. 

NLOS-C Production Planned to Begin Soon at Congress's Direction: 

Since fiscal year 2003, the Army has been required by Congress to make 
future budgetary and programming plans to fully finance the NLOS-C in 
order field a self-propelled, indirect fire capability.[Footnote 13] 
Most recently, the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2008, 
required the Army to make plans to field the system by fiscal year 2010 
and to deliver 8 NLOS-C prototypes by the end of calendar year 
2008.[Footnote 14] These systems are to be in addition to those needed 
for developmental and operational testing. 

The Army plans to begin procuring long-lead production items for the 
NLOS-C vehicle in 2008 to meet this requirement. The Army determined 
that a set of 18, a full battalion's worth, would be needed to meet the 
intent of the language. The Army plans to deliver six units per year in 
fiscal years 2010 through 2012. However, these early NLOS-C vehicles 
will not meet threshold FCS requirements and will not be operationally 
deployable without significant modification; rather, they will be used 
as training assets for the Army Evaluation Task Force. 

The Army has not finalized plans for facilities in which to build the 
early NLOS-C vehicles; these decisions are expected to be made no later 
than the manned ground vehicles preliminary design review in fiscal 
year 2009. Initially, the Army will likely use the current facility in 
Lima, Ohio, for hull fabrication and chassis assembly of ground 
vehicles. The mission module structural fabrication and assembly for 
most manned ground vehicles will likely be done in a York, 
Pennsylvania, facility. According to a program official, ground has 
been broken on an additional facility in Elgin, Oklahoma, where NLOS-C 
mission module assembly is expected. The expected costs of these 
facilities and the process to approve and fund the building of the 
facilities are unclear at this point. 

To meet the early fielding dates, the Army will begin early production 
of these NLOS-C vehicles with immature technologies and designs. 
Several key technologies, such as lightweight armor, the active 
protection system, and the JTRS radios will not be fully mature for 
several additional years. Much requirements work remains on the manned 
ground vehicles, including the NLOS-C, and software development is in 
its early stages. Design work on the manned ground vehicles also 
remains to be done, including work on the chassis and mission modules. 
Significant challenges involving integrating the technologies, 
software, and design will follow. To the extent that these aspects of 
the manned ground vehicles depart from the early production cannons, 
costly rework of the cannons may be necessary. 

As seen in figure 6 below, this commitment to NLOS-C production comes 5 
years before the Army plans to produce the core FCS program in 2013. 
Because of this, the early prototypes will most likely have to be hand- 
built because production facilities and processes and the necessary 
tooling will not be fully developed at that time. 

Figure 6: NLOS-C versus Core FCS Procurement Schedule: 

[See PDF for image] 

The figure is an illustration of NLOS-C versus Core FCS Procurement 
Schedule. The following information is depicted: 

Fiscal year: 2008; 
NLOS-C: Long-lead items; 
FCS core: [Empty]. 

Fiscal year: 2009; 
NLOS-C: Milestone C; 
FCS core: Preliminary design review. 

Fiscal year: 2010; 
NLOS-C: first 6 delivered; 
FCS core: [Empty]. 

Fiscal year: 2011; 
NLOS-C: second 6 delivered; 
FCS core: Critical design review. 

Fiscal year: 2012; 
NLOS-C: third 6 delivered; 
FCS core: Long-lead items. 

Fiscal year: 2013; 
NLOS-C: [Empty]; 
FCS core: Milestone C. 

Source: Army (data); GAO (analysis and presentation). 

[End of figure] 

The Army is planning for a seamless transition between NLOS-C 
production and core FCS production. Beginning the production of NLOS-C 
vehicles 5 years before the start of FCS core production could create 
additional pressure to proceed with FCS core production. Advance 
procurement funding for the first full suite of FCS systems will begin 
in fiscal year 2011, the budget for which will be presented to Congress 
in February 2010--less than a year after the milestone review and 
before the stability of the FCS design is assessed at the critical 
design review. By 2013, the Army will have already invested a total of 
$11.9 billion in procurement, with another $6.9 requested. Moreover, to 
the extent that beginning NLOS-C production in 2008 starts up the 
manned ground vehicle industrial base, it could create a future need to 
sustain the base. If FCS goes according to plan, FCS core production 
would begin as early NLOS-C production ends, with FCS core long lead 
items providing a transition. If decision makers were to consider 
delaying FCS core production because it was not ready, a gap could 
develop when early NLOS-C production ends. Sustaining the industrial 
base could then become an argument against an otherwise justified 
delay. 

In December 2007, the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, 
Technology, and Logistics took steps to keep the decisions on the NLOS- 
C early production separate from FCS core production. In approving 
procurement of long-lead items for the NLOS-C vehicles in 2008, the 
Under Secretary designated the 18 early prototypes as a separate, 
special interest program for which he will retain authority for making 
milestone decisions. The Under Secretary plans another decision in 2009 
to approve the start of NLOS-C production and has put a cost limit of 
$505.2 million (fiscal year 2003 dollars) on production. He also 
specified that specific requirements be met at that time, such as a 
capability production document, technology readiness assessment, test 
plan, independent estimate of costs, and an approved acquisition 
program baseline. This is a positive step in ensuring that the Army's 
efforts to meet congressional direction do not result in unfavorable 
consequences. 

Army's Early Commitment to LSI for FCS Production Heightens Oversight 
Challenges: 

The Army's April 2007 decision to contract with the LSI for FCS 
production makes an already close relationship closer, represents a 
change from the Army's rationale prior to beginning development for 
using an LSI, and may further complicate oversight. As LSI, Boeing's 
role is multifaceted: it is a partner with the Army in developing 
requirements and defining the FCS solution; it is overseeing the 
development efforts of all of the individual system subcontractors, a 
role that will extend well beyond the 2013 production decision; it is 
responsible for developing two key software products--the system-of- 
systems common operating environment, the core of the FCS network, and 
the Warfighter Machine Interface; it is the prime contractor for the 
production of spin outs and the NLOS-C; and now it is to be responsible 
for the low-rate production of the first three combat brigades of FCS 
core systems. 

The specific role the LSI will play in production of spin outs, NLOS-C, 
and FCS core production are unclear at this point. The contracts for 
long lead items for spin out 1 and NLOS-C have not been definitized yet 
and statements of work for the production contracts will be negotiated 
later. According to the program officials, Boeing will contract with 
the first tier subcontractors who will in turn contract with their own 
subcontractors. For example, the firms that are designing and 
developing and will physically manufacture NLOS-C are General Dynamics 
and British Aerospace. Similarly, the work that the LSI does on actual 
production of the FCS is likely to be small compared to the other 
hardware suppliers and assemblers. Thus, the production role of the LSI 
is likely to be largely in oversight of the first tier subcontractors. 

From the outset of the program, the LSI was to focus its attention on 
development activities, which the Army judged to be beyond what it 
could directly handle. The Army believed that traditionally, 
contractors made much of their profit in production, not in research 
and development. Thus, the Army reasoned, the contractors are not as 
motivated by research and development as they are by production. Army 
leadership believed that by using an LSI that would not necessarily 
have to be retained for production, the Army could get the best effort 
from the contractor during the development phase while at the same time 
making the effort profitable for the contractor. The Army had always 
reserved the right to contract directly with the developers of the 
individual FCS systems for production. In 2005, the Army took steps to 
further bound the integrator role when it strengthened the 
organizational conflicts of interest clause in the contract to preclude 
the LSI from competing for any further subcontracts. 

Nonetheless, the LSI's involvement in the production phase has been 
growing over time. The current LSI development contract for the core 
FCS systems extends almost 2 years beyond the 2013 production decision. 
The Army does not expect that the initial brigades outfitted by FCS 
will meet the upper range of its requirements, and has made the LSI 
responsible for planning future FCS enhancements during the production 
phase. The LSI is also responsible for defining and maintaining a 
growth strategy for integrating new technologies into the FCS brigade 
combat teams. Combined with a likely role in sustainment, which has not 
yet been fully defined, the LSI will remain indefinitely involved in 
the FCS program. It is also likely that the LSI will be used over the 
long term for data and configuration management, among other things. 

The recent decision to commit to the LSI for the early production of 
FCS spin out items and NLOS-C vehicles as well as the initial low rate 
production of FCS core systems is perhaps the final departure from the 
Army's effort to keep the contractor's focus solely on development. It 
is particularly significant given that it is 6 years in advance of the 
low-rate production decision and effectively cedes a key point of 
leverage--source selection--that the Army held. The Army justified its 
decision on the grounds that it is the most cost effective means of 
proceeding. The Army believes that Boeing's previous experience with 
FCS provides the company the unique management framework and expertise 
necessary to proceed. The Army also cites Boeing's common configuration 
management process and the ability to integrate systems-of-systems 
trade-offs and requirements changes holistically. While these may be 
legitimate advantages, they would not necessarily represent new 
discoveries on the part of the Army but rather natural advantages that 
would likely accrue to an incumbent system integrator. In addition, the 
Army's analysis that led up to the decision did not assess its 
originally stated option of the Army's contracting directly with the 
individual system developers for production, but rather focused on the 
much narrower question of whether it was feasible for any other 
contractor to perform the role of the LSI for the entire FCS program. 

We have previously reported that the complex relationship between the 
Army and Boeing increases the burden of oversight and poses risks for 
the Army's ability to provide independent oversight over the long 
term.[Footnote 15] The relationship between the Army and Boeing broke 
new ground in its close, partner-like arrangement. It has advantages 
over an arms-length relationship but makes oversight more challenging. 
Specifically, we have noted that: 

* The government can become increasingly vested in the results of 
shared decisions and runs the risk of being less able to provide 
oversight. 

* The Army's performance, such as in developing critical technologies, 
may affect the LSI's ability to perform, a situation that can pose 
accountability problems. 

* It may be difficult for the Army to separate its own performance from 
that of the LSI's when making decisions on how and whether to award 
fees. 

The Army's decision to commit to the LSI as the source for initial FCS 
production in 2013 makes the relationship even closer and more 
interdependent. Beyond the existing oversight challenges the 
relationship already posed, there is now an additional need to guard 
against the natural incentive of production from creating more pressure 
to proceed through development checkpoints prematurely. As we have 
previously reported, this is a burden that will need to be increasingly 
borne by the Office of the Secretary of Defense. 

FCS Costs Likely to Be Higher Than Current Army Estimate: 

The Army's $160.9 billion cost estimate for the FCS program is largely 
unchanged from last year's estimate despite a program adjustment that 
reduced the number of FCS systems from 18 to 14. This represents a 
reduction in the Army's buying power on FCS. Two independent cost 
assessments--from DOD's CAIG and the other from the IDA--are 
significantly higher than the Army's estimate. Both assessments 
estimate higher costs for software development, to which the recent 
increase in lines of code adds credence. Given the program's relative 
immaturity in terms of technology and requirements definition, there is 
not a firm foundation for a confident cost estimate. The Army maintains 
that when it becomes necessary, it will further reduce FCS content to 
keep development costs within available funding levels. As the Army 
begins a steep ramp-up of FCS production, FCS costs will compete with 
other Army funding priorities, such as the transition to modular 
organizations and recapitalizing the weapons and other assets that 
return from current operations. Together, the program's uncertain cost 
estimate and competing Army priorities make additional reductions in 
FCS scope and increases in cost likely. 

Program Adjustment Reduces Scope, yet Costs Remain Largely the Same: 

Despite a major program adjustment that deleted 4 of the 18 platforms, 
extended the overall schedule by about 5 months, and further lengthened 
the production run, the Army's official cost estimate for the FCS 
program has only slightly decreased since last year. In inflated 
dollars, the program estimates the acquisition cost will be $160.9 
billion, down from last year's estimate of $163.7 billion. The current 
estimate reflects the second major program restructuring in the 
program's history. The Army attributes the adjustment to (1) funding 
constraints in the fiscal year 2008 to 2013 program objective 
memorandum that made the previous configuration of the program 
unaffordable, (2) consecutive budget cuts by the Congress, and (3) the 
changing needs of the Army that incorporate lessons learned from 
ongoing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. As of January 2008, the Army 
and LSI were in negotiations to implement these changes into the 
development contract, and the dollar values of the specific changes 
were not yet available. For example, the cost savings from deleting 
four systems were offset by reducing annual procurement rates and 
extending the production schedule by 4 years. 

The program adjustment may mean a reduction in capabilities of the FCS 
program. The impacts of the adjustment on the program are not yet fully 
known, but Army officials stated that the adjustment puts into doubt 
its ability to reach the full potential of the program. In 2003, the 
program was approved with a set of 14 core systems. Several systems 
were added when the program was restructured in 2004. Now, with this 
most recent adjustment, the program has once again been reduced to 
largely the same set of 14 systems, but in that time frame, the costs 
of the program increased by about 46 percent. This increasing cost, 
coupled with reductions in scope of the program, means a loss of buying 
power for the Army that may continue to the extent that costs continue 
to grow, forcing program officials to reduce more capabilities to stay 
within available funds. 

Independent Assessments Indicate Potentially Higher Acquisition Costs: 

Two recent independent estimates, from IDA and the CAIG, suggest costs 
for the FCS program could be much higher than Army estimates. The 
Army's estimate; the independent assessment from IDA, which focuses on 
research and development costs; and the CAIG estimate are presented in 
table 3. 

Table 3: Comparison of the Original Cost Estimate and Recent Cost 
Estimates for the FCS Program (in billions of dollars): 

Base-year 2003 Dollars: Research, development, testing, and evaluation; 
May 2003: Army estimate: $18.1; 
December 2005: Army estimate: $26.4; 
May 2006: CAIG estimate: $31.8 - 44.0; 
December 2006: Army estimate: $25.1; 
April 2007: IDA assessment: Approximately $38.1. 

Base-year 2003 Dollars: Procurement; 
May 2003: Army estimate: $59.1; 
December 2005: Army estimate: $92.8; 
May 2006: CAIG estimate: $118.7; 
December 2006: Army estimate: $87.5; 
April 2007: IDA assessment: N/A. 

Base-year 2003 Dollars: Total; 
May 2003: Army estimate: $77.2; 
December 2005: Army estimate: $119.2; 
May 2006: CAIG estimate: $150.5 - 162.7; 
December 2006: Army estimate: $112.6; 
April 2007: IDA assessment: N/A. 

Then-year Dollars: Research, development, testing, and evaluation; 
May 2003: Army estimate: $19.6; 
December 2005: Army estimate: $30.6; 
May 2006: CAIG estimate: $36.6 - 52.7; 
December 2006: Army estimate: $29.3; 
April 2007: IDA assessment: N/A. 

Then-year Dollars: Procurement; 
May 2003: Army estimate: $71.8; 
December 2005: Army estimate: $133.1; 
May 2006: CAIG estimate: $166.7 - 181.2; 
December 2006: Army estimate: $131.6; 
April 2007: IDA assessment: N/A. 

Then-year Dollars: Total; 
May 2003: Army estimate: $91.4; 
December 2005: Army estimate: $163.7; 
May 2006: CAIG estimate: $203.3 - 233.9; 
December 2006: Army estimate: $160.9; 
April 2007: IDA assessment: N/A. 

Source: U.S. Army, Office of the Secretary of Defense, IDA (data); GAO 
(analysis and presentation). 

[End of table] 

In its 2007 study, IDA estimated a potential $13 billion in additional 
development costs above the Army's adjusted estimate because of 
unplanned software effort, additional costs related to rework during 
the operational test and evaluation phase of the program, and 
additional costs for system-of-systems integration, validation, and 
test after the program's critical design review. The study further 
identified significant additional cost risk, which it described as 
unquantifiable, because of incomplete technology maturation, critical 
dependency on complementary programs, necessary experimentation during 
FCS development, and the overall complexity and required 
synchronization of the FCS development activities. The IDA study did 
not assess likely procurement costs. The Army has stated that the IDA 
assessment does not give the Army credit for the risk mitigation 
offered by the integration phase approach and spin outs. The IDA 
expects an additional catch-up integration phase to be necessary, which 
increases work scope and would drive up development costs. Program 
officials said that the integration phase approach is a knowledge-based 
approach, but acknowledged that the overlapping schedules of the phases 
assumes success. 

We reported last year that the CAIG's independent estimate indicated 
that FCS costs could ultimately range from $203 billion to $234 billion 
in inflated dollars. The CAIG estimate was based on additional 
procurement quantities that were never approved or funded. The CAIG's 
development estimate reflected several additional years and additional 
staffing beyond the Army's estimate to achieve initial operational 
capability. The difference in estimates is also attributable to the 
CAIG's assessment that the FCS software development would require more 
time and effort to complete than the Army had estimated. In fact, the 
Army recently indicated an increase in estimated software lines of code 
from 63 million to 95 million. The independent estimate also provided 
for additional risks regarding the availability of key systems to 
support the FCS network, such as the JTRS radios. Neither the Army nor 
the Defense Acquisition Board has accepted the independent estimate. 
Program officials stated last year that the independent cost estimate 
of research and development costs was too high because it was too 
conservative regarding risks. 

In 2003, the CAIG's initial independent estimate for the program was 
$101.1 billion in acquisition costs, versus the Army's estimate of 
$77.2 billion in base year 2003 dollars. When the program began, the 
estimates were based on an FCS system-of-systems including 14 platforms 
with an additional four platforms deferred. The 2004 restructure 
brought back the deferred systems for a total of 18. But, the recent 
program adjustment once again deferred essentially the same set of 
platforms. The current configuration is 14 systems, and the Army's cost 
estimate of $112.6 billion in base year 2003 dollars is comparable to 
the CAIG's original estimate for the same number of FCS systems. The 
Army's estimate has thus increased about 46 percent over the course of 
4 years for essentially the same set of platforms, while some 
capabilities, such as the transport requirements for manned ground 
vehicles, have been modified over that time frame. 

The Army has not accepted either of the independent estimates on the 
grounds that the CAIG and IDA estimates include additional work scope, 
particularly in the later years of the development phase. Program 
officials told us that the Army cannot fund additional work that is not 
currently in its scope. The CAIG and IDA both use historical growth 
factors in their estimates, based on the results of previous programs. 
It is reasonable to use such growth factors, based on our own analysis 
of weapon systems and the low level of knowledge attained on the FCS 
program at this time. Given the different approaches from the Army and 
the independent estimators, it is likely the CAIG and the Army will 
still differ in their estimates when the CAIG prepares its independent 
estimate for the 2009 program review. Army officials have said they 
will not increase program cost estimates to fall in line with 
independent estimates, but will instead consider trading away 
requirements or changing their concept of operations to keep FCS 
development costs within available funding levels. The Army and LSI are 
currently conducting analyses to determine which requirements and 
capabilities can be discarded with the least impact to the program. The 
FCS contract also contains a clause on program generated adjustments. 
This allows the LSI to identify a prioritized list of capabilities in 
advance that can be partially or completely deleted should the need 
arise. The money budgeted for them can then be redirected to new work 
scope or to offset a cost overrun. Should the higher cost estimates 
prove correct, the Army will have to make significant changes in 
planned capabilities to absorb the higher program costs. 

FCS Still Lacks Solid Knowledge Base from Which to Make Confident Cost 
Estimates: 

Cost estimates for any program are limited by the level of product 
knowledge available. We have previously reported that the Army's 
estimates are limited by the low level of knowledge in the FCS program 
today. The current FCS estimates do not have a base of mature 
technologies and well-defined system-level requirements. There have 
been few demonstrations of FCS capabilities to date, and the set of 
complementary programs that the FCS program will rely on to function 
properly is still uncertain. Therefore, the Army must make significant 
assumptions about how knowledge will develop. As experience has shown, 
in many DOD weapon systems, assumptions generally prove optimistic and 
result in underestimated costs. 

One way to reduce the probability of unbudgeted cost growth is to 
present a confidence level for a cost estimate based on risk and 
uncertainty analyses. Such analyses entail testing the sensitivity of 
costs to changes in input values and key assumptions. While confidence 
levels have limitations in that they are dependent on the assumptions 
made in calculating them, their use is recognized as a best practice. 
In an effort to better ensure realism in DOD budgets, a 2006 panel on 
acquisition reform established by the Deputy Secretary of Defense 
recommended that program budgets be set at a specific confidence 
level.[Footnote 16] To date, the Army has not calculated a confidence 
level for its FCS cost estimate. FCS program officials maintain that 
while they would like to explore this area, confidence levels are 
difficult to do because the program's budget frequently changes and 
requirements are undefined. On the other hand, this is the kind of 
variability that a confidence level analysis attempts to capture. 

As it is currently structured, the Army is planning to make substantial 
financial investments in the FCS program before key knowledge is gained 
on requirements, technologies, system designs, and system performance. 
Figure 7 shows the cumulative funding, as reported in the program's 
current cost estimate, and the timing of the program's key events. 
Appendix V has a year-by-year breakdown of FCS research and development 
funding and key events. 

Figure 7: Cumulative FCS Research and Development Funding and Key 
Events: 

[See PDF for image] 

This figure is a line graph depicting Cumulative FCS Research and 
Development Funding and Key Events. The vertical axis of the graph 
represents dollars in billions from 0 to 35. The horizontal axis of the 
graph represents fiscal years from 2003 to 2015. The following data is 
approximated from the graph: 

Fiscal year: 2003; 
Cumulative R&D funding: 0; 
Key Event: None. 

Fiscal year: 2005; 
Cumulative R&D funding: approximately $5 billion; 
Key Event: None. 

Fiscal year: 2007; 
Cumulative R&D funding: approximately $11 billion; 
Key Event: None; 

Fiscal year: 2009; 
Cumulative R&D funding: approximately $18 billion; 
Key Event: Preliminary Design Review (PDR). 

Fiscal year: 2011; 
Cumulative R&D funding: approximately $25 billion; 
Key Event: Critical Design Review (CDR). 

Fiscal year: 2013; 
Cumulative R&D funding: approximately $27 billion; 
Key Event: Low-rate initial production (LRIP). 

Fiscal year: 2016; 
Cumulative R&D funding: approximately $30 billion; 
Key Event: Full-rate production (FRP). 

Source: Army (data); GAO (analysis and presentation). 

[End of figure] 

As indicated in figure 7, by the time of the preliminary design review 
and the go/no-go decision in 2009, the Army will have spent over $18 
billion--60 percent--of its development budget. At that point, the 
program should have matured most of the critical technologies to TRL 6, 
and the definition of system-level requirements should be nearing 
completion. This is the level of knowledge the program should have 
reached in 2003 before being approved for development start, according 
to best practices and the approach preferred by DOD in its acquisition 
policies. Yet, significantly expensive work, such as building and 
testing prototypes, remains ahead. 

As reported by the CAIG and IDA, historical experience suggests FCS 
costs will grow higher, possibly significantly, beyond the Army's 
current estimate. Our previous work has shown that development costs 
for the programs with mature technologies increased by a modest average 
of 4.8 percent over the first full estimate, whereas the development 
costs for the programs with immature technologies increased by a much 
higher average of 34.9 percent. Similarly, program acquisition unit 
costs for the programs with the most mature technologies increased by 
less than 1 percent, whereas the programs that started development with 
immature technologies experienced an average program acquisition unit 
cost increase of nearly 27 percent over the first full estimate. Our 
work also showed that most development cost growth occurred after the 
critical design review. Specifically, of the 28.3 percent cost growth 
that weapon systems average in development, 19.7 percent occurs after 
the critical design review. An example of a program that did not allow 
enough time in development and that is now dealing with the results is 
the Marine Corps' Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle. We reported in May 
2006 that this program has seen a 45 percent increase in acquisition 
cost alongside reductions in key performance parameters and schedule 
delays--a major reduction in buying power.[Footnote 17] These effects 
are attributable to the fact that the program did not allow enough time 
in system development and demonstration to fully design and demonstrate 
the capabilities of the program before the decision to begin building 
prototypes. 

Army Efforts to Control Cost Focus on Scope Reductions: 

The Army is attempting to manage the growing cost of the FCS. It has 
said that the Army will not exceed the cost ceiling of the development 
contract, but as a result, it may have to modify, reduce, or delete 
lower priority FCS requirements. Also, the Army is focusing on reducing 
the projected average unit production cost of the brigade combat teams, 
which is currently projected to exceed the amount at which each brigade 
combat team is budgeted. As a result of the program adjustment, the 
Army has re-established a lower average unit production cost target. 
Prior to the adjustment, the Army had established a glide path for cost 
reduction, but had been struggling to meet the goals in some areas, 
particularly with the manned ground vehicles. The Army has developed 
affordability initiatives to help it reach the targets, but their 
effectiveness may not be realized for several years. 

The Army and the LSI monitor the performance of the FCS program through 
an earned value management system, which provides information on the 
technical, schedule, and cost performance of the program. As it 
proceeds, the Army and LSI can use the information gleaned from the 
earned value management system to make informed program decisions and 
correct potential problems early. According to recent earned value 
data, (which does not currently take into account the scope reduction 
of four systems) the FCS program is currently tracking fairly closely 
with cost and schedule expectations that were revised in 2004, although 
some variances are beginning to show in key areas such as the Non-Line- 
of-Sight Launch System. However, it is too early in the program for the 
data at this point to be conclusive. In the case of the FCS, when the 
program restructured its scope in 2004, the earned value data up to 
that point was rebaselined. And, because of the recent program 
adjustment, the future work on the program is being replanned. As a 
result, the earned value data at this point provides little insight 
into the potential future performance of the program and the extent of 
the challenges the Army still faces with FCS. 

Army Begins Steep Ramp Up of FCS Procurement Funding in 2008: 

The FCS program plans to begin spending procurement money in fiscal 
year 2008 for long lead items for the spin outs and for the NLOS-C. FCS 
procurement funding then ramps up very quickly, as can be seen in table 
4. By the time of the low-rate initial production decision for the core 
program in 2013, the Army expects that a total of $39.1 billion will 
have been appropriated and another $8 billion requested for FCS. $11.9 
billion of the appropriated funds and $6.9 billion of the requested 
funds will be for production costs. This money will include spin out 
production, early NLOS-C production, and long lead and facilitization 
for FCS core production. About $500 million (fiscal year 2003 dollars) 
of this will be designated for NLOS-C early production through fiscal 
year 2012. 

Table 4: FCS Procurement Funding through 2013 (dollars in millions): 

Core program: 
Fiscal year: 2008: 79.5; 
Fiscal year: 2009: 155.8; 
Fiscal year: 2010: 149.4; 
Fiscal year: 2011: 683.8; 
Fiscal year: 2012: 2194.6; 
Fiscal year: 2013: 5795.3; 
Total: 9058.4. 

Spin outs: 
Fiscal year: 2008: 20.1; 
Fiscal year: 2009: 172.7; 
Fiscal year: 2010: 373.8; 
Fiscal year: 2011: 557.1; 
Fiscal year: 2012: 779.7; 
Fiscal year: 2013: 958.1; 
Total: 2861.4. 

Total: 
2008: 99.6; 
2009: 328.5; 
2010: 523.2; 
2011: 1240.9; 
2012: 2974.3; 
2013: 6753.3;
Total: 11919.8. 

Source: U.S. Army (data); GAO (analysis and presentation). 

[End of table] 

As indicated in figure 8 below, the increasing budget demands for FCS 
production are occurring when FCS development costs are still high and, 
per independent estimates, may be higher yet. 

Figure 8: FCS Research and Development and Procurement Funding Profile 
from Fiscal Year 2003 through Fiscal Year 2030: 

[See PDF for image] 

This figure is a line graph representing FCS Research and Development 
and Procurement Funding Profile from Fiscal Year 2003 through Fiscal 
Year 2030. The representation is a combination of R&D and Procurement 
funding. The vertical axis of the graph represents dollars in billions 
from 0 to 10. The horizontal axis of the graph represents fiscal years 
from 2003 to 2029. R&D funds are zero in 2003, peak at about $3.5 
billion in 2007, and taper back to zero by 2016. Procurement funds 
begin in 2007, adding to the total funding. By 2015, procurement funds 
peak at about $9.5 billion and remain between $7 and 8 billion through 
2028 when there is a steep decline to about $1 billion for 2029. 

Source: U.S. Army (data); GAO (analysis and presentation). 

[End of figure] 

The Army will have to balance its needs for the FCS program with 
competing demands from within the Army and DOD, including the Army's 
efforts to change its division-based force structure to smaller, more 
numerous brigade formations. These efforts have proven significantly 
more costly and time consuming than originally planned. The Army will 
also have to fully define the content of spin outs 2 and 3 and secure 
funding for their full costs, which could be substantial. Additional 
reductions in FCS scope and capabilities may become necessary if the 
high budgets needed cannot be sustained. By the time of the FCS 
milestone review in 2009, the fiscal year 2010 Army budget will be 
under consideration by the Congress, and the fiscal year 2010 to 2015 
future years defense program will be available. This program will 
include the first few years of FCS production, at the annual rate of 1 
brigade combat team per year, and the procurement of spin outs 2 and 3. 
As such, it should provide insights as to whether the Army can 
reasonably fund FCS and its other priorities. 

Conclusions: 

The 2009 milestone review will be perhaps the definitive decision on 
FCS's future. For several reasons, the decision bears the 
responsibility of both a commitment to continued development and to 
production. The Army's strategy for FCS--with technologies still 
immature, insufficient testing of system prototypes before low-rate 
production, and a high likelihood of cost increases--has never abided 
by DOD policy and in 2013 is likely to present decision makers with a 
partially developed and largely undemonstrated system for production. 
If significant problems have to be corrected during production, the 
costs could be prohibitive, thus putting the Army's modernization plan 
in jeopardy. It is therefore essential at the 2009 decision that the 
FCS business case be demonstrated against clear criteria--both as to 
what performance it can deliver and the soundness of its remaining 
schedule--versus being assessed on potentialities. With such large sums 
already invested, early production having begun in 2008, and the late 
development and demonstration of the FCS capability, decision makers in 
2013 will be in a very difficult position under the current strategy. 

The deficiencies we cite in this report in areas such as requirements 
and technology are not criticisms of progress in the sense that things 
should have gone smoother or faster. At issue, rather, is the 
misalignment of the program's normal progress with the events used to 
manage and make decisions on such acquisitions--key decisions are made 
well before requisite knowledge is available. The decisions in 2009 
will provide an opportunity to realign the progress of knowledge in FCS 
with events such as the critical design review and tests of prototypes 
before the production decision. The 2009 decision point may also be the 
government's last realistic opportunity to safeguard its ability to 
change course on FCS, should that be warranted. The first decision, as 
we see it, will have to involve whether FCS's capabilities have been 
demonstrated to be both technically feasible and militarily worthwhile. 
If they have not, then DOD and the Army will need to have viable 
alternatives to fielding the FCS capability as currently envisioned. 
Depending on the results of the first decision, the second decision is 
to determine how to structure the remainder of the FCS program so that 
it attains high levels of knowledge before key commitments. 

Other aspects of the FCS program warrant attention that should not wait 
until the 2009 decision. Primary among these is the Army's decision to 
extend the role of the LSI into FCS production. This is a decision that 
will necessarily heighten the role the Office of the Secretary of 
Defense will have to play in overseeing the program and departs from 
the Army's philosophy of having the LSI focus on development without 
the competing demands and interests that production poses. A second 
aspect of the program warranting attention is the Army's approach to 
spin outs. It will be important for the Army to clearly demonstrate the 
military utility of the spin outs to current Army forces based on 
testing high-fidelity, production-representative prototypes, before a 
commitment is made to low-rate production. This is not the current 
plan, as the Army plans to use some surrogate equipment in the testing 
that will support the production decision for spin out 1. Finally, it 
is important that the production investments in the spin outs and NLOS- 
C do not create undue momentum for production of FCS core systems. As 
noted above, commitment to production of the FCS's core systems must be 
predicated on attaining high levels of knowledge, consistent with DOD 
policy. The Under Secretary of Defense's recent decision to break out 
early NLOS-C production as a separate acquisition program goes a long 
way to meet congressional direction on NLOS-C while mitigating the 
consequences for the rest of the FCS program. This is an issue that 
will need sustained attention. 

Recommendations for Executive Action: 

To ensure that the 2009 FCS milestone review is positioned to be both 
well-informed and transparent, we recommend that the Secretary of 
Defense establish objective and quantitative criteria that the FCS 
program will have to meet in order to justify its continuation and gain 
approval for the remainder of its acquisition strategy.[Footnote 18] 
The criteria should be set by at least July 30, 2008, so as to be 
prescriptive, and should be consistent with DOD acquisition policy and 
best practices. At a minimum, the criteria should include: 

* the completion of the definition of all FCS requirements including 
those for the information network; 

* the demonstration that preliminary designs meet FCS requirements; 

* the maturation of all critical technologies; 

* the synchronization of FCS with all essential complementary programs; 

* a sound and executable acquisition strategy, including: 

- the synchronization of the development and demonstration of the FCS 
information network with the development and demonstration of other FCS 
elements, 

- a realistic path forward to critical design review, 

- a thorough and robust test and evaluation plan, and: 

- a realistic path forward to production process maturity before the 
start of production; 

* development and production cost estimates that (1) have a specified 
confidence level and (2) are reconciled with independent estimates; 
and: 

* assurance that the Army can properly fund, over the long term, the 
FCS program of record. 

We recommend that the Secretary of Defense, in advance of the 2009 
milestone review, identify viable alternatives to FCS as currently 
structured that can be considered in the event that FCS does not 
measure up to the criteria set for the review. As we have previously 
reported, an alternative need not be a rival to the FCS, but rather the 
next best solution that can be adopted if FCS is not able to deliver 
the needed capabilities. For example, an alternative need not represent 
a choice between FCS and the current force, but could include fielding 
a subset of FCS, such as a class of vehicles, if they perform as needed 
and provide a militarily worthwhile capability. 

Finally, we recommend that the Secretary of Defense (1) closely examine 
the oversight implications of the Army's decision to contract with the 
LSI for early production of FCS spin outs, NLOS-C, and low-rate 
production for the core FCS program; (2) take steps to mitigate the 
risks of the Army's decisions, including the consideration of the full 
range of alternatives for contracting for production; and (3) evaluate 
alternatives to the LSI for long-term sustainment support of the FCS 
system of systems. 

Agency Comments and Our Evaluation: 

DOD concurred with our recommendations and stated that criteria for the 
2009 FCS Defense Acquisition Board review, aligned with the FCS's 
preliminary design review, will be reviewed and finalized at the 2008 
FCS Defense Acquisition Board review. For its 2009 review, the Defense 
Acquisition Board expects the Army to provide evidence of stable 
requirements, verification that the preliminary design can meet those 
requirements, evidence of mature technologies, alignment of essential 
complementary systems, an executable acquisition strategy, a low-risk 
cost estimate, and an affordability assessment. The results of the 
analyses and assessments planned to support the 2009 review will inform 
DOD's acquisition and budget decisions for FCS. These are positive 
steps toward informing the 2009 Defense Acquisition Board review. For 
example, the expectation that FCS will have mature critical 
technologies is a step beyond simply conducting an independent 
assessment of technology maturity. Likewise, aligning essential 
complementary systems would demonstrate measurable progress more than 
simply updating status and issues for complementary systems. 

DOD states that an analysis of alternatives will inform the 2009 FCS 
review. It is important that such an analysis go beyond whether FCS is 
the preferred alternative, and assess alternatives to FCS in the event 
the Defense Acquisition Board determines the FCS program of record is 
not executable or affordable. Such alternatives would not necessarily 
represent a choice between competing solutions, but may, for example, 
include a subset of FCS systems augmenting current forces. 

Regarding our recommendations related to oversight, DOD stated that it 
would evaluate FCS production contracting approaches and risks, as well 
as alternatives to the LSI for long-term sustainment support. DOD is 
silent on the expansion of the LSI's role into core FCS production and 
cites its reliance on Army analyses and risk assessments. Yet, the Army 
has already indicated its intent to go forward with its plans for 
production, including contracting with the LSI, pending approval to do 
so. It is essential that the Office of the Secretary of Defense perform 
its own analyses and assessments, so that it may arrive at its own 
conclusions. In particular, the Office must evaluate the advantages and 
risks of the LSI's expanded production role with regard to the 
potentially greater burden of oversight it will likely bear as a 
consequence. 

Finally, the department maintains that GAO's definition of testing 
requirements to support the low-rate initial production decision is 
more in line with the requirements for Initial Operational Test and 
Evaluation, which occurs with low-rate production assets and informs 
the full-rate production decision. The testing standards we apply 
reflect the best practice of having production-representative 
prototypes tested prior to a low-rate production decision. This 
approach demonstrates the prototypes' performance and reliability as 
well as manufacturing processes--in short, that the product is ready to 
be manufactured within cost, schedule, and quality goals. 

We received other technical comments from DOD, which have been 
addressed in the report, as appropriate. 

We are sending copies of this report to the Secretary of Defense; the 
Secretary of the Army; and the Director, Office of Management and 
Budget. Copies will also be made available at no charge on the GAO Web 
site at [hyperlink, http://www.gao.gov]. 

Please contact me on (202) 512-4841 if you or your staff has any 
questions concerning this report. Contact points for our Offices of 
Congressional Relations and Public Affairs may be found on the last 
page of this report. Other contributors to this report were Assistant 
Director William R. Graveline, Noah B. Bleicher, Martin G. Campbell, 
Tana M. Davis, Marcus C. Ferguson, and Carrie R. Wilson. 

Signed by: 

Paul L. Francis: 
Director: 
Acquisition and Sourcing Management: 

List of Committees: 

The Honorable Carl Levin: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable John McCain: 
Ranking Member: 
Committee on Armed Services: 
United States Senate: 

The Honorable Daniel K. Inouye: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Ted Stevens: 
Ranking Member: 
Subcommittee on Defense: 
Committee on Appropriations: 
United States Senate: 

The Honorable Ike Skelton: 
Chairman: 
The Honorable Duncan L. Hunter: 
Ranking Member: 
Committee on Armed Services: 
House of Representatives: 

The Honorable John P. Murtha, Jr. 
Chairman: 
The Honorable C. W. (Bill) Young: 
Ranking Member: 
Subcommittee on Defense: 
Committee on Appropriations: 
House of Representatives: 

[End of section] 

Appendix I: Scope and Methodology: 

To develop the information on the Future Combat System program that we 
used to assess (1) how the definition, development, and demonstration 
of FCS capabilities is proceeding, particularly in light of the go/no- 
go decision scheduled for 2009; (2) the Army's plans for making 
production commitments for FCS and any risks relative to the completion 
of development; and (3) the estimated costs for developing and 
producing FCS and risks the Army faces in both meeting the estimate and 
providing commensurate funding, we interviewed officials at the Office 
of the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology, and 
Logistics); the Secretary of Defense's Cost Analysis Improvement Group; 
the Institute for Defense Analyses; the Army's Training and Doctrine 
Command; the Future Force Integration Directorate; the Army Evaluation 
Task Force; the Army Test and Evaluation Command; the Director of the 
Combined Test Organization; the Program Manager for the Future Combat 
System (Brigade Combat Team); the Future Combat System LSI; and LSI One 
Team Partners. 

We reviewed many Army and DOD documents, including the Future Combat 
System's Operational Requirements Document, the Acquisition Strategy 
Report, the Selected Acquisition Report, the Test and Evaluation Master 
Plan, critical technology assessments and technology risk mitigation 
plans, and modeling and simulation results. 

We attended the Board of Directors Reviews, the Engineering Maturity 1 
event, and multiple system demonstrations. In our assessment of the 
FCS, we used the knowledge based acquisition practices drawn from our 
large body of past work as well as DOD's acquisition policy and the 
experiences of other programs. 

We certify that officials from DOD and the Army have provided us access 
to sufficient information to make informed judgments on the matters in 
this report. We discussed the issues presented in this report with 
officials from the Army and the Secretary of Defense and made several 
changes as a result. We performed our review from March 2007 to March 
2008 in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards. Those 
standards require that we plan and perform the audit to obtain 
sufficient, appropriate evidence to provide a reasonable basis for our 
findings and conclusions based on our audit objectives. We believe that 
the evidence obtained provides a reasonable basis for our findings and 
conclusions based on our audit objectives. 

[End of section] 

Appendix II: Comments from the Department of Defense: 

Office Of The Under Secretary Of Defense:
Acquisition, Technology And Logistics: 
3000 Defense Pentagon: 
Washington, DC 20301-3000: 

February 28, 2088: 

Mr. Paul L. Francis: 
Director, Acquisition and Sourcing Management: 
U.S. Government Accountability Office: 
441 G Street, N.W. 
Washington, DC 20548: 

Dear Mr. Francis: 

This is the Department of Defense (DoD) response to the GAO draft 
report, "Defense Acquisitions: 2009 Is a Critical Juncture for the 
Army's Future Combat system," dated January 31, 2008 (GAO Code 
120656/GAO-08-408). 

The report recommends that the Secretary of Defense establish criteria 
for the Future Combat System (FCS) program to meet for approval at the 
2009 review for continuation of the FCS acquisition strategy. The GAO 
recommended the Secretary of Defense identify viable alternatives to 
the FCS program as currently structured. Additionally, the GAO 
recommended examination of the alternatives for FCS production and 
sustainment. 

The Department concurs with the GAO recommendations and our comments 
are enclosed. A technical comment of note is the GAO's definition of 
testing requirements to support the low-rate initial production 
decision is more in line with the requirements for Initial Operational 
Test and Evaluation, which occurs with low-rate production assets and 
informs the full rate production decision. Detailed technical comments 
were provided separately. 

The Army's transformation effort, and in particular, the FCS program 
requires a disciplined, yet agile, acquisition construct. The FCS 
acquisition strategy includes periodic acquisition reviews by the 
Department, including a Defense Acquisition Board review, subsequent to 
the FCS preliminary design review in 2009. 

Sincerely, 

Signed by: 
David G. Ahern: 
Director: 
Portfolio Systems Acquisition: 

Enclosure: As stated: 

GAO Draft Report Dated January 31, 2008: 
GAO-08-408 (GAO Code 120656): 

"Defense Acquisitions: 2009 Is A Critical Juncture For The Army's 
Future Combat System" 

Department Of Defense Comments To The GAO Recommendations: 

Recommendation 1: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense 
establish objective and quantitative criteria that the Future Combat 
System (FCS) program will have to meet in order to justify its 
continuation and gain approval for the remainder of its acquisition 
strategy. At a minimum the criteria should include: 

* the completion of the definition of all FCS requirements including 
those for the information network; 

* the demonstration that preliminary designs meet FCS requirements; 

* the maturation of all critical technologies; 

* the synchronization of FCS with all essential complementary programs; 

* a sound and executable acquisition strategy, including: 
- the synchronization of the development and demonstration of the FCS 
information network with the development and demonstration of other FCS 
elements; 
- a realistic path forward to critical design review; 
- a thorough and robust test and evaluation plan, and; 
- a realistic path forward to production process maturity before the 
start of production; 

* development and production cost estimates, that (1) have a specified 
confidence level, and (2) are reconciled with independent estimates; 
and; 

* assurance that the Army can properly fund, over the long term, the 
FCS program of record. (p. 49/GAO Draft Report) 

DOD Response: Concur. Criteria for the 2009 FCS Defense Acquisition 
Board (DAB), aligned with the program's Preliminary Design Review, will 
be reviewed and finalized at the FCS DAB planned for later in 2008. The 
expectations for the 2009 FCS DAB include stable requirements, 
verification that the preliminary design can meet those requirements, 
mature critical technologies, aligning of the essential complementary 
systems, an executable acquisition strategy, a low-risk cost estimate, 
and an affordability assessment. The Department's FCS acquisition and 
budget decisions will be based on the results of the analyses and 
assessments planned to support the 2009 DAB review. 

Recommendation 2: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense, in 
advance of the 2009 milestone review, identify viable alternatives to 
FCS as currently structured that can be considered in the event that 
FCS does not measure up to the criteria set for the review. 

DOD Response: Concur. An analysis of alternatives will inform the 2009 
FCS review. 

Recommendation 3: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense 
closely examine the oversight implications of the Army's decision to 
contract with the Lead System Integrator (LSI) for early production of 
FCS spin outs, Non-Line-of Sight Cannon (NLOS-C), and low-rate 
production for the core FCS program. 

DOD Response: Concur. The Department has separated the Congressionally 
mandated production of NLOS-C Special Interest vehicles from the FCS 
acquisition. The FCS spin-out production is currently authorized only 
for limited long-lead for a small subset of FCS capability, 
specifically the initial increments of the unattended ground sensors, 
the NLOS-Launch System, and integrated computer system for the current 
force brigades. Production contract approaches and risks will be 
examined in support of the Spin-Out 1 Milestone C decision. 

Recommendation 4: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense 
take steps to mitigate the risks of the Army's decisions, including the 
consideration of the full range of alternatives for contracting for 
production. 

DOD Response: Concur. The Army will provide a risk assessment of 
production alternatives in support of the update to the FCS acquisition 
strategy. The Defense Acquisition Board and the Milestone Decision 
Authority address risks at the annual FCS program reviews. 

Recommendation 5: The GAO recommended that the Secretary of Defense 
evaluate alternatives to the LSI for long-term sustainment support of 
the FCS system-of-systems. 

DOD Response: Concur. The evaluation and analysis of alternative 
support and sustainment options for FCS brigades is a component of the 
program's product support strategy. This, in conjunction with the 
program's Core Logistics Analysis/Source of Repair Analysis, will 
inform program decisions throughout the acquisition life cycle. 

[End of section] 

Appendix III: Technology Readiness Levels: 

Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) are measures pioneered by the 
National Aeronautics and Space Administration and adopted by DOD to 
determine whether technologies were sufficiently mature to be 
incorporated into a weapon system. Our prior work has found TRLs to be 
a valuable decision-making tool because they can presage the likely 
consequences of incorporating a technology at a given level of maturity 
into a product development. The maturity level of a technology can 
range from paper studies (level 1), to prototypes that can be tested in 
a realistic environment (TRL 7), to an actual system that has proven 
itself in mission operations (level 9). According to DOD acquisition 
policy, a technology should have been demonstrated in a relevant 
environment (TRL 6) or, preferably, in an operational environment (TRL 
7) to be considered mature enough to use for product development. Best 
practices of leading commercial firms and successful DOD programs have 
shown that critical technologies should be mature to at least a TRL 7 
before the start of product development. 

Technology readiness level (TRL): 1. Basic principles observed and 
reported; 
Description: Lowest level of technology readiness. Scientific research 
begins to be translated into applied research and development. Examples 
might include paper studies of a technology's basic properties; 
Hardware and software: None (paper studies and analysis); 
Demonstration environment: None. 

Technology readiness level (TRL): 2. Technology concept and/or 
application formulated; 
Description: Invention begins. Once basic principles are observed, 
practical applications can be invented. The application is speculative, 
and there is no proof or detailed analysis to support the assumption. 
Examples are still limited to paper studies; 
Hardware and software: None (paper studies and analysis); 
Demonstration environment: None. 

Technology readiness level (TRL): 3. Analytical and experimental 
critical function and/or characteristic proof of concept; 
Description: Active research and development is initiated. This 
includes analytical studies and laboratory studies to physically 
validate analytical predictions of separate elements of the technology. 
Examples include components that are not yet integrated or 
representative; 
Hardware and software: Analytical studies and demonstration of non-
scale individual components (pieces of subsystem); 
Demonstration environment: Lab. 

Technology readiness level (TRL): 4. Component and/or breadboard. 
Validation in laboratory environment; Description: Basic technological 
components are integrated to establish that the pieces will work 
together. This is relatively "low fidelity" compared to the eventual 
system. Examples include integration of "ad hoc" hardware in a 
laboratory; 
Hardware and software: Low-fidelity breadboard. Integration of non-
scale components to show pieces will work together. Not fully 
functional or form or fit but representative of technically feasible 
approach suitable for flight articles; 
Demonstration environment: Lab. 

Technology readiness level (TRL): 5. Component and/or breadboard 
validation in relevant environment; 
Description: Fidelity of breadboard technology increases significantly. 
The basic technological components are integrated with reasonably 
realistic supporting elements so that the technology can be tested in a 
simulated environment. Examples include "high fidelity" laboratory 
Integration of components; 
Hardware and software: High-fidelity breadboard. Functionally 
equivalent but not necessarily form and/or fit (size, weight, 
materials, etc.). Should be approaching appropriate scale. May include 
integration of several components with reasonably realistic support 
elements/subsystems to demonstrate functionality; 
Demonstration environment: Lab demonstrating functionality but not form 
and fit. May include flight demonstrating breadboard in surrogate 
aircraft. Technology ready for detailed design studies. 

Technology readiness level (TRL): 6. System/subsystem model or 
prototype demonstration in a relevant environment; 
Description: Representative model or prototype system, which is well 
beyond the breadboard tested for TRL 5, is tested in a relevant 
environment. Represents a major step up in a technology's demonstrated 
readiness. Examples include testing a prototype in a high-fidelity 
laboratory environment or in simulated operational environment; 
Hardware and software: Prototype--Should be very close to form, fit, 
and function. Probably includes the integration of many new components 
and realistic supporting elements/subsystems if needed to demonstrate 
full functionality of the subsystem; 
Demonstration environment: High-fidelity lab demonstration or 
limited/restricted flight demonstration for a relevant environment. 
Integration of technology is well defined. 

Technology readiness level (TRL): 7. System prototype demonstration in 
an operational environment; 
Description: Prototype near or at planned operational system. 
Represents a major step up from TRL 6, requiring the demonstration of 
an actual system prototype in an operational environment, such as in an 
aircraft, vehicle, or space. Examples include testing the prototype in 
a test bed aircraft; 
Hardware and software: Prototype. Should be form, fit, and function 
integrated with other key supporting elements/subsystems to demonstrate 
full functionality of subsystem; 
Demonstration environment: Flight demonstration in representative 
operational environment such as flying test bed or demonstrator 
aircraft. Technology is well substantiated with test data. 

Technology readiness level (TRL): 8. Actual system completed and 
"flight qualified" through test and demonstration; 
Description: Technology has been proved to work in its final form and 
under expected conditions. In almost all cases, this TRL represents the 
end of true system development. Examples include developmental test and 
evaluation of the system in its intended weapon system to determine if 
it meets design specifications; 
Hardware and software: Flight-qualified hardware; Demonstration 
environment: 
Developmental test and evaluation in the actual system application. 

Technology readiness level (TRL): 9. Actual system "flight proven" 
through successful mission operations; 
Description: Actual application of the technology in its final form and 
under mission conditions, such as those encountered in operational test 
and evaluation. In almost all cases, this is the end of the last "bug 
fixing" aspects of true system development. Examples include using the 
system under operational mission conditions; 
Hardware and software: Actual system in final form; 
Demonstration environment: Operational test and evaluation in 
operational mission conditions. 

Source: GAO analysis of National Aeronautics and Space Administration 
data. 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix IV: FCS Critical Technology Ratings and Projections for 
Achieving TRL 6: 

FCS Critical Technologies: Joint Interoperability: Software 
Programmable Radio: JTRS Cluster 1; 
2006 TRL Rating: 6; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: N/A; 
2007 TRL Rating: 6; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: N/A. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Joint Interoperability: Software 
Programmable Radio: JTRS Cluster 5; 
2006 TRL Rating: 6; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: N/A; 
2007 TRL Rating: 6; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: N/A. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Joint Interoperability: Software 
Programmable Radio: WIN-T; 
2006 TRL Rating: 6; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: N/A; 
2007 TRL Rating: 5; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: 2008. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Joint Interoperability: Interface and 
Information Exchange: Army, Joint, Multinational Interface; 
2006 TRL Rating: 6; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: N/A; 
2007 TRL Rating: 6; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: N/A. 

Information Exchange: WIN-T Strategic Communication; 
2006 TRL Rating: 6; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: N/A; 
2007 TRL Rating: 5; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: 2008. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Networked Battle Command: Security Systems 
and Algorithms: Cross Domain Guarding Solution; 
2006 TRL Rating: 6; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: N/A; 
2007 TRL Rating: 6; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: N/A. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Networked Battle Command: Security Systems 
and Algorithms: Intrusion Detection-IP Network; 
2006 TRL Rating: 4; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: 2008; 
2007 TRL Rating: 5; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: 2008. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Networked Battle Command: Security Systems 
and Algorithms: Intrusion Detection-Waveform; 
2006 TRL Rating: 4; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: 2007; 
2007 TRL Rating: 6; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: N/A. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Networked Battle Command: Mobile Ad Hoc 
Networking Protocols; 
2006 TRL Rating: 6; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: N/A; 
2007 TRL Rating: 6; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: N/A. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Networked Battle Command: Quality of Service 
Algorithms; 
2006 TRL Rating: 5; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: 2008; 
2007 TRL Rating: 5; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: 2008. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Networked Battle Command: Unmanned Systems 
Relay; 
2006 TRL Rating: N/R; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: N/A; 
2007 TRL Rating: N/R; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: N/A. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Networked Battle Command: Wideband 
Waveforms: Wideband Waveform-JTRS; 
2006 TRL Rating: 6; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: N/A; 
2007 TRL Rating: 6; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: N/A. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Networked Battle Command: Wideband 
Waveforms: Wideband Waveform-SRW; 
2006 TRL Rating: 6; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: N/A; 
2007 TRL Rating: 6; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: N/A. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Networked Battle Command: Advanced Man-
Machine Interfaces; 
2006 TRL Rating: 6; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: N/A; 
2007 TRL Rating: 6; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: N/A. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Networked Battle Command: Multi-Spectral 
Sensors and Seekers; 
2006 TRL Rating: 6; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: N/A; 
2007 TRL Rating: 6; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: N/A. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Networked Battle Command: Decision 
Aids/Intelligent Agents; 
2006 TRL Rating: 6; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: N/A; 
2007 TRL Rating: 6; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: N/A. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Networked Battle Command: Combat 
Identification: Air (Rotary Wing/UAV)-to-Ground; 
2006 TRL Rating: 6; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: N/A; 
2007 TRL Rating: 6; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: N/A. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Networked Battle Command: Combat 
Identification: Air (Fixed Wing)-to-Ground (Interim/Robust Solutions); 
2006 TRL Rating: N/R; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: N/A; 
2007 TRL Rating: N/R; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: N/A. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Networked Battle Command: Combat 
Identification: Ground-to-Ground (Mounted); 
2006 TRL Rating: N/R; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: N/A; 
2007 TRL Rating: N/R; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: N/A. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Networked Battle Command: Combat 
Identification: Ground-to-Air (Mounted); 
2006 TRL Rating: 6; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: N/A; 
2007 TRL Rating: 6; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: N/A. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Networked Battle Command: Combat 
Identification: Ground-to-Soldier; 
2006 TRL Rating: N/R; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: N/A; 
2007 TRL Rating: N/R; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: N/A. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Networked Battle Command: Rapid Battlespace 
Deconfliction; 
2006 TRL Rating: 5; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: 2008; 
2007 TRL Rating: 5; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: 2008. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Networked Battle Command: Sensor/Data Fusion 
and Data Compression Algorithms: Distributed Fusion Management; 
2006 TRL Rating: 4; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: 2008; 
2007 TRL Rating: 5; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: 2008. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Networked Battle Command: Sensor/Data Fusion 
and Data Compression Algorithms: Level 1 Fusion Engine; 
2006 TRL Rating: 6; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: N/A; 
2007 TRL Rating: 6; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: N/A. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Networked Battle Command: Sensor/Data Fusion 
and Data Compression Algorithms: Data Compression Algorithms; 
2006 TRL Rating: 6; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: N/A; 
2007 TRL Rating: 6; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: N/A. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Networked Lethality: Dynamic Sensor-Shooter 
Pairing Algorithms and Fire Control; 
2006 TRL Rating: 6; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: N/A; 
2007 TRL Rating: 6; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: N/A. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Networked Lethality: LOS/BLOS/NLOS Precision 
Munitions Terminal Guidance: PGMM Precision Munitions; 
2006 TRL Rating: 6; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: N/A; 
2007 TRL Rating: N/R; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: N/A. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Networked Lethality: LOS/BLOS/NLOS Precision 
Munitions Terminal Guidance: MRM Precision Munitions; 
2006 TRL Rating: 6; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: N/A; 
2007 TRL Rating: 6;
2007 TRL 6 Projection: N/A. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Networked Lethality: LOS/BLOS/NLOS Precision 
Munitions Terminal Guidance: Excalibur Precision Munitions; 
2006 TRL Rating: 6; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: N/A; 
2007 TRL Rating: 7; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: N/A. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Networked Lethality: LOS/BLOS/NLOS Precision 
Munitions Terminal Guidance: NLOS-LS; 
2006 TRL Rating: 6; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: N/A; 
2007 TRL Rating: 6; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: N/A. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Networked Lethality: Aided/Automatic Target 
Recognition: Aided Target Recognition for RSTA; 
2006 TRL Rating: 5; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: 2008; 
2007 TRL Rating: 5; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: 2008. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Networked Lethality: Aided/Automatic Target 
Recognition: NLOS-LS ATR for Seekers; 
2006 TRL Rating: 6; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: N/A; 
2007 TRL Rating: 6; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: N/A. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Networked Lethality: Recoil Management and 
Lightweight Components; 
2006 TRL Rating: 6; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: N/A; 
2007 TRL Rating: 6; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: N/A. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Networked Lethality: Distributed 
Collaboration of Manned/Unmanned Platforms; 
2006 TRL Rating: 6; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: N/A; 
2007 TRL Rating: 6; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: N/A. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Networked Lethality: Rapid Battle Damage 
Assessment; 
2006 TRL Rating: N/R; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: N/A; 
2007 TRL Rating: N/R; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: N/A. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Transportability: 
Sustainability/Reliability: High-Power Density/Fuel-Efficient 
Propulsion: High-Power Density Engine; 
2006 TRL Rating: 6; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: N/A; 
2007 TRL Rating: 6; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: N/A. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Transportability: 
Sustainability/Reliability: High-Power Density/Fuel-Efficient 
Propulsion: Fuel-Efficient Hybrid-Electric Engine; 
2006 TRL Rating: 6; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: N/A; 
2007 TRL Rating: 6; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: N/A. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Transportability: 
Sustainability/Reliability: Embedded Predictive Logistics Sensors and 
Algorithms; 
2006 TRL Rating: N/R; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: N/A; 
2007 TRL Rating: N/R; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: N/A. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Transportability: 
Sustainability/Reliability: Water Generation and Purification; 
2006 TRL Rating: N/R; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: N/A; 
2007 TRL Rating: N/R; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: N/A. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Transportability: 
Sustainability/Reliability: Lightweight Heavy Fuel Engine; 
2006 TRL Rating: 5; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: 2006; 
2007 TRL Rating: 5; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: 2008. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Training: Computer Generated Forces; 
2006 TRL Rating: 6; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: N/A; 
2007 TRL Rating: 6; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: N/A. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Training: Tactical Engagement Simulation; 
2006 TRL Rating: 5; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: 2008; 
2007 TRL Rating: 6; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: N/A. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Survivability: Active Protection System: 
Active Protection System: 
2006 TRL Rating: 6; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: N/A; 
2007 TRL Rating: 5; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: 2008. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Survivability: Active Protection System: 
Threat Warning System; 
2006 TRL Rating: 4; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: 2009; 
2007 TRL Rating: 4; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: 2010. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Survivability: Signature Management; 
2006 TRL Rating: 6; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: N/A; 
2007 TRL Rating: 6; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: N/A. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Survivability: Lightweight Hull and Vehicle 
Armor; 
2006 TRL Rating: 5; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: 2008; 
2007 TRL Rating: 5; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: 2008. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Survivability: Health Monitoring and 
Casualty Care Interventions; 
2006 TRL Rating: 7; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: N/A; 
2007 TRL Rating: 7; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: N/A. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Survivability: Power Distribution and 
Control; 
2006 TRL Rating: 6; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: N/A; 
2007 TRL Rating: N/R; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: N/A. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Survivability: Advanced Countermine 
Technology: Mine Detection; 
2006 TRL Rating: 6; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: N/A; 
2007 TRL Rating: 6; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: N/A. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Survivability: Advanced Countermine 
Technology: Mine Neutralization; 
2006 TRL Rating: 6; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: N/A; 
2007 TRL Rating: 6; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: N/A. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Survivability: Advanced Countermine 
Technology: Efficient Resource Allocation; 
2006 TRL Rating: N/R; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: N/A; 
2007 TRL Rating: N/R; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: N/A. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Survivability: Advanced Countermine 
Technology: Protection; 
2006 TRL Rating: 5; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: 2008; 
2007 TRL Rating: 5; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: 2008. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Survivability: High-Density Packaged Power; 
2006 TRL Rating: 6; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: N/A; 
2007 TRL Rating: 6; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: N/A. 

FCS Critical Technologies: Survivability: Class 1 UAV Propulsion 
Technology: Ducted Fan; 
2006 TRL Rating: 6; 
2006 TRL 6 Projection: N/A; 
2007 TRL Rating: 6; 
2007 TRL 6 Projection: N/A. 

Source: U.S. Army (data); GAO (analysis and presentation). 

Note: N/A = Not Applicable; N/R = Not Rated: 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Appendix V: Annual and Cumulative FCS Research and Development Funding 
and Planned Events and Achievements: 

Fiscal year: 2003; 
Percentage of funding spent to date: 0.6; 
Annual research, development, testing, and evaluation funding (in 
millions of dollars): 165.2; 
Cumulative research, development, testing, and evaluation funding (in 
millions of dollars): 165.2; 
Planned events and achievements: Start of product development. 

Fiscal year: 2004; 
Percentage of funding spent to date: 6.4; 
Annual research, development, testing, and evaluation funding (in 
millions of dollars): 1701.3; 
Cumulative research, development, testing, and evaluation funding (in 
millions of dollars): 1866.5; 
Planned events and achievements: Program restructured. 

Fiscal year: 2005; 
Percentage of funding spent to date: 16.4; 
Annual research, development, testing, and evaluation funding (in 
millions of dollars): 2929.9; 
Cumulative research, development, testing, and evaluation funding (in 
millions of dollars): 4796.4; 
Planned events and achievements: System of Systems Functional Review; 
system-of-systems requirements stabilized; cost estimate updated. 

Fiscal year: 2006; 
Percentage of funding spent to date: 27.2; 
Annual research, development, testing, and evaluation funding (in 
millions of dollars): 3168.8; 
Cumulative research, development, testing, and evaluation funding (in 
millions of dollars): 7965.2; 
Planned events and achievements: Initial preliminary design review; 
initial system level requirements. 

Fiscal year: 2007; 
Percentage of funding spent to date: 38.9; 
Annual research, development, testing, and evaluation funding (in 
millions of dollars): 3426.4; 
Cumulative research, development, testing, and evaluation funding (in 
millions of dollars): 11391.6; 
Planned events and achievements: Preliminary design work in progress. 

Fiscal year: 2008; 
Percentage of funding spent to date: 50.8; 
Annual research, development, testing, and evaluation funding (in 
millions of dollars): 3498.6; 
Cumulative research, development, testing, and evaluation funding (in 
millions of dollars): 14890.2; 
Planned events and achievements: Most technologies reach TRL 6; final 
system-level requirements. 

Fiscal year: 2009; 
Percentage of funding spent to date: 61.6; 
Annual research, development, testing, and evaluation funding (in 
millions of dollars): 3148.3; 
Cumulative research, development, testing, and evaluation funding (in 
millions of dollars): 18038.5; 
Planned events and achievements: Preliminary design review; most 
technologies reach TRL 6; mandated "go/no-go" review. 

Fiscal year: 2010; 
Percentage of funding spent to date: 72.6; 
Annual research, development, testing, and evaluation funding (in 
millions of dollars): 3226.9; 
Cumulative research, development, testing, and evaluation funding (in 
millions of dollars): 21265.4; 
Planned events and achievements: Limited user test 2; some prototypes 
available. 

Fiscal year: 2011; 
Percentage of funding spent to date: 82; 
Annual research, development, testing, and evaluation funding (in 
millions of dollars): 2778.6; 
Cumulative research, development, testing, and evaluation funding (in 
millions of dollars): 24044; 
Planned events and achievements: Critical design review; design 
readiness review; all system prototypes available. 

Fiscal year: 2012; 
Percentage of funding spent to date: 88.4; 
Annual research, development, testing, and evaluation funding (in 
millions of dollars): 1868.1; 
Cumulative research, development, testing, and evaluation funding (in 
millions of dollars): 25912.1; 
Planned events and achievements: Technologies reach full TRL 7 
maturity; limited user test 3; initial system-of-systems demonstration. 

Fiscal year: 2013; 
Percentage of funding spent to date: 92.9; 
Annual research, development, testing, and evaluation funding (in 
millions of dollars): 1313.7; 
Cumulative research, development, testing, and evaluation funding (in 
millions of dollars): 27225.8; 
Planned events and achievements: Milestone C - initial production 
decision. 

Fiscal year: 2014; 
Percentage of funding spent to date: 96.7; 
Annual research, development, testing, and evaluation funding (in 
millions of dollars): 1115.2; 
Cumulative research, development, testing, and evaluation funding (in 
millions of dollars): 28341; 
Planned events and achievements: Limited user test 4; full system-of-
systems demonstration; fielding start brigade combat teams. 

Fiscal year: 2015; 
Percentage of funding spent to date: 99.6; 
Annual research, development, testing, and evaluation funding (in 
millions of dollars): 857.2; 
Cumulative research, development, testing, and evaluation funding (in 
millions of dollars): 29198.2; 
Planned events and achievements: Initial operational capability. 

Fiscal year: 2016; 
Percentage of funding spent to date: 100; 
Annual research, development, testing, and evaluation funding (in 
millions of dollars): 107.3; 
Cumulative research, development, testing, and evaluation funding (in 
millions of dollars): 29305.5; 
Planned events and achievements: Initial operational test and 
evaluation; full-rate production decision. 

Fiscal year: 2017; 
Planned events and achievements: Full operational capability. 

Source: U.S. Army (data); GAO (analysis and presentation). 

[End of table] 

[End of section] 

Related GAO Products: 

Defense Acquisitions: Analysis of Processes Used to Evaluate Active 
Protection Systems. GAO-07-759. Washington, D.C.: June 8, 2007. 

Defense Acquisitions: Role of Lead Systems Integrator on Future Combat 
Systems Program Poses Oversight Challenges. GAO-07-380. Washington, 
D.C.: June 6, 2007. 

Defense Acquisitions: Assessments of Selected Weapon Programs. GAO-07- 
406SP. Washington, D.C.: March 30, 2007. 

Defense Acquisitions: Future Combat System Risks Underscore the 
Importance of Oversight. GAO-07-672T. Washington, D.C.: March 27, 2007. 

Defense Acquisitions: Key Decisions to Be Made on Future Combat System. 
GAO-07-376. Washington, D.C.: March 15, 2007. 

Defense Acquisitions: Improved Business Case Key for Future Combat 
System's Success. GAO-06-564T. Washington, D.C.: April 4, 2006. 

Defense Acquisitions: Improved Business Case is Needed for Future 
Combat System's Successful Outcome. GAO-06-367. Washington, D.C.: March 
14, 2006. 

Defense Acquisitions: Business Case and Business Arrangements Key for 
Future Combat System's Success. GAO-06-478T. Washington, D.C.: March 1, 
2006. 

Defense Acquisitions: Future Combat Systems Challenges and Prospects 
for Success. GAO-05-428T. Washington, D.C.: March 16, 2005. 

Defense Acquisitions: The Army's Future Combat Systems' Features, 
Risks, and Alternatives. GAO-04-635T. Washington, D.C.: April 1, 2004. 

Issues Facing the Army's Future Combat Systems Program. GAO-03-1010R. 
Washington, D.C.: August 13, 2003. 

Defense Acquisitions: Army Transformation Faces Weapon Systems 
Challenges. GAO-01-311. Washington, D.C.: May 21, 2001. 

Best Practices: Better Matching of Needs and Resources Will Lead to 
Better Weapon System Outcomes. GAO-01-288. Washington, D.C.: March 8, 
2001. 

Best Practices: Better Management of Technology Development Can Improve 
Weapon System Outcomes. GAO/NSIAD-99-162. Washington, D.C.: July 30, 
1999. 

Best Practices: Commercial Quality Assurance Practices Offer 
Improvements for DOD. GAO/NSIAD-96-162. Washington, D.C.: August 26, 
1996. 

[End of section] 

Footnotes: 

[1] John Warner National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 
2007, Pub. L. No. 109-364, § 214 (2006). 

[2] Pub. L. No. 109-163, § 211. 

[3] GAO, Defense Acquisitions: Significant Challenges Ahead in 
Developing and Demonstrating Future Combat System's Network and 
Software, GAO-08-409 (Washington, D.C.: Mar. 7, 2008). 

[4] GAO, Defense Acquisitions: Role of Lead Systems Integrator on 
Future Combat Systems Program Poses Oversight Challenges, GAO-07-380 
(Washington, D.C.: June 6, 2007). 

[5] National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, Pub. L. 
No. 110-181, § 802. 

[6] See "Related GAO Products" in this report. 

[7] This study was required in the John Warner National Defense 
Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2007, Pub. L. No. 109-364, § 216. 

[8] Software data in Build 1 is a cumulative total that includes 
software from Build 0. 

[9] The Army's Training and Doctrine Command acts as the FCS user 
representative, and in that capacity, it serves as a warfighter 
advocate and counterpart to the FCS program manager and is responsible 
for the centralized management of all user activities during the FCS 
development program. 

[10] GAO, Defense Acquisitions: Key Decisions to Be Made on Future 
Combat System, GAO-07-376 (Washington, D.C.: Mar. 15, 2007). 

[11] GAO, Defense Acquisitions: Analysis of Processes Used to Evaluate 
Active Protection Systems, GAO-07-759 (Washington, D.C.: June 8, 2007). 

[12] Pub. L. No. 110-181, § 211. 

[13] Department of Defense Appropriations Act, 2003, Pub. L. No. 107- 
248, § 8121 (2002), and similar provisions in subsequent defense 
appropriations acts. 

[14] Pub. L. No. 110-116, § 8088 (2007). 

[15] GAO-07-380. 

[16] Defense Acquisition Performance Assessment Panel, Defense 
Acquisition Performance Assessment Report, (Washington, D.C.: January 
2006). 

[17] GAO, Defense Acquisitions: The Expeditionary Fighting Vehicle 
Encountered Difficulties in Design Demonstration and Faces Future 
Risks, GAO-06-349 (Washington, D.C.: May 1, 2006). 

[18] In our March 2007 report, we recommended that the Secretary of 
Defense establish criteria to evaluate the FCS program at that 
decision. Although DOD concurred with our recommendations and outlined 
how the Defense Acquisition Board's review of FCS in 2009 would be 
informed by a number of critical assessments and analyses, it did not 
specifically respond to our recommended criteria that it will use to 
evaluate the FCS program. 

[End of section] 

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