Skip to comments.U.S. Army Demos Future Combat Systems (FCS) in Live-Fire Soldier Exercise
Posted on 02/03/2007 9:11:52 AM PST by Srirangan
The Army this week successfully completed the first Live-Fire Soldier exercise, Experiment 1.1, involving Future Combat Systems (FCS) technologies and equipment. The culmination of an eight-month demonstration that took place at both Fort Bliss, Texas, and Huntington Beach, Calif., the exercise is the first step in accelerating the delivery of key FCS capabilities to current-force Soldiers and part and parcel of the most comprehensive Army modernization effort in more than half a century.
"The future is now," said Army FCS Program Manager Maj. Gen. Charles Cartwright. "Networked Soldiers already are using early FCS systems; and we're getting invaluable Soldier feedback about what works and what needs improving. Today's exercise is further confirmation that the FCS program is working as planned."
Early iterations of FCS technologies and equipment already are saving Soldiers' lives in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today's live-fire Soldier exercise reduced development risk by helping to ensure that the new technologies tested are sufficiently mature and suitable for the current operational environment; indeed, the results of the exercise will inform subsequent program development. The FCS program has delivered more than five million lines of software code and several pre-production prototype systems on cost and on schedule.
A platoon of 36 Soldiers participated in the exercise, which involved a mock urban assault recently carried out by U.S. forces in Iraq. The Soldiers attacked the target and then cleared out several buildings that were infested with insurgents. But unlike today's Soldiers, the troops using FCS equipment were empowered by the FCS network; consequently, they had a suite of new networked capabilities that reduced Soldier risk, increased Soldier awareness and battlefield understanding, and enhanced overall mission effectiveness.
(Excerpt) Read more at militaryglobal.com ...
Wonder if the battery these gizmos use are available worldwide? How vulnerable does a grunt become, and how mission incapable without a battery or an unplanned wiring fry?
I fear this could easily become the next gold-plated fizzled and failed weapons system. Finally buried in cost overruns and failure.
I sure hope not, for too many then placed in harms way if it fails and sets back modernization for a decade.
Does it run on Windoze?
Do you think maybe the designers have considered that issue?
"Wonder if the battery these gizmos use are available worldwide? How vulnerable does a grunt become, and how mission incapable without a battery or an unplanned wiring fry?
I fear this could easily become the next gold-plated fizzled and failed weapons system."
Interesting what the capabilities of micro turbines and fuel cells might be in these situations.
Systems integration and common spares are a worthy goal.
I don't know about micro turbines, but I know the military is looking at fuel cells of all sizes, from powering the equipment of a single solider, or even just part of it, up to powering the electronics of say a ground based radar/missile site.
Microturbines have lube and fouling issues. How do you have combustion in a turbine chamber that is cubic mm in volume? (Sparks cannot push turbines). How clean will the combustion need to be (fuel purity) because after each combustion, some residue will build up. If you have nano spacing between the turbine and wall of the chamber, you do not need much to foul up the engine. Tough to take apart a microturbine in a foward area shop to clean and repair. Fuel cells have a daunting life cycle costs. Fuel cells work by flowing hydrogen or methanol into its fuel cell stack. Guess what, over time residuals will form within the cells due to impurities in the fuel or from the battlefield environment (hard to prevent). People need to calculate the number hours of operation before the fuel cell stack becomes fouled up and require replacement. So when one calculates the economy of fuel cells, one must add the initial cost, plus the fuel cost, plus the cell stack replacement cost and all that divided by the total operating time before replacement is needed. Portable fuel cells become more expensive to operate compared to a gasoline or diesel engine generator set. People advocating hybrid fuel cell cars do not talk about this replacement cost. You have to weedle this info out of any fuel cell salesperson who would sheepishly admit this cost problem. Fuel cells have a long way to go before they are economically viable for general usage.