FCS Cancellation Fallout

by: Matthew Potter
July 6, 2009

Category: Boeing, Business Line, Companies, Congress, development program, Events, Federal Budget Process, IT, logistics, production program, Restructuring, SAIC, Services, U.S. Army | RSS 2.0

The cancellation of the current Future Combat Systems (FCS) development contract was one of the cornerstones of the Obama Administrations 2010 defense budget. The program of new vehicles, unmanned aerial and ground systems, and the data links connecting them was estimated at over $160 billion. The Army still has a requirement for a upgrade to their combat brigades currently using the Eighties produced M1/M2 vehicles and the Styker Interim system. As such a new program was set up to replace FCS almost immediately after the contract with Boeing and SAIC was canceled.

Now the Army is concerned that the money planned for in the budget may not be available for this new program. At a minimum some of it will be needed to pay the termination fees related to the various contracts ended prematurely. They were ended at the convenience of the government so the contractors are entitled to payment for whatever work they had done and what it takes to close out the contracts. If the money doesn’t remain in the FCS line then the Army will be forced to fund it from other programs.

Congress in their mark up of the 2010 budget cut most of the money budgeted for this as they felt there were sufficient current funds to cover this. This may be a little too much penny save pound foolish. The Army knows fairly well what is needed and probably budgeted appropriately. The cost to other parts of the Army including the new modernization program may be quite high.

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