of Chairman Curt Weldon
Hearing on Future Combat System and
Force Protection Initiatives
the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee
meets to receive testimony on the land component
and related programs in the Fiscal Year 2005
We have two panels
of witnesses: For the first panel the General
Accounting Office and the Department of the
Army will provide the Subcommittee with their
views on the Future Combat Systems program.
During the second panel, representatives of
the Departments of the Army and the United
States Marine Corps will provide us with testimony
on force protection, unfunded requirements
associated with equipping our forces and sustainment
of the current force into the future.
through the years, first as Chairman of the
R&D Subcommittee, again as Chairman of
the Military Procurement Subcommittee, and
now today that the proposed defense budgets
were insufficient to adequately fund the programs
included in the budget requests. The GAO, concluded
in 2003 that the current Army heavy force would
be required to remain in the inventory through
at least 2020. In order to extend our current
capability to 2020, this force would need to
be maintained and upgraded. The funding to
support the current force would require significant
investment. Our past experience indicates that
the current force is constantly short changed
by ever escalating cost growth in development
equipment is the major challenge. It is our
responsibility to make sure that we do not
sacrifice today the capabilities and equipment
provided to our soldiers in order to field
a capability two decades from now.
The Future Combat
Systems is the Army's flagship of transformation.
As envisioned, FCS would allow the Army to
rapidly deploy and operate in all types of
military operations, ranging from small-scale
contingencies to major theater wars. The technological
and organizational advances that FCS promises
would keep the Army well ahead of near-peer
threats for decades.
The FCS program
has a number of progressive features. The "system
of systems" architecture within which
individual systems will be developed is a dramatic
improvement over the past practice of designing
separate systems and then making these systems
interoperable after the fact.
feature is the collaborative environment in
which the Army program management, the contractor,
and the war-fighter community are developing
the FCS requirements.
Finally, FCS accounts
for lethality, survivability, and sustainability
as equally important key performance characteristics
at the inception of the program.
Future Combat Systems program also carries
very high risks. The Army has never managed
any program the size and complexity of FCS:
18 systems, 32 critical technology areas, 34
million lines of code, 129 trade studies, 157
essential programs being developed independent
of FCS, and all in 5 ½ years. FCS will cost
at least $22 billion through 2009 and $92 billion
through the fielding first 15 Units of Action.
The software task alone is five times larger
than that required for the Joint Strike Fighter
and ten times larger that the F/A-22, which
after two decades is finally meeting its software
If FCS experiences
the technical difficulties that every major
development program seems to experience, the
cost overruns will consume the Army's budget.
If Comanche, Crusader, or F-22 are portents
of the magnitude of the problems, then FCS
R&D could cost $30 to $40 billion. Can
DOD or the Army afford such an investment?
We do not want to be here in two years rebaselining
Let us consider
the long-term and the overall DOD budget. CBO
projects an approximate 30 percent shortfall
in required funding to execute the long term
defense plan. Given the overall national fiscal
realities, the question is: "How do we
reduce the risk in developing FCS so that we
can afford to provide funding for FCS without
sacrificing the current force?" We need
FCS to be successful.
I do want to commend
the Army for facilitating transparent, pro-active
congressional oversight on cost, schedule,
and technical risk from the inception of the
We look forward
to hearing from our panels about this program
of the future and about meeting the needs of
our soldiers and Marines today as they fight
the Global War on Terror.