Intercepts

FCS fineprint

The Army's announcement last month that it will speed up development of some Future Combat Systems (FCS) technologies made a defense analyst wonder if service officials have changed the focus of their next-generation, multibillion-dollar warfighting program.

"The introduction of four spirals makes me think the Army may be stepping away from FCS as revolutionary to evolutionary," said Loren Thompson, chief operating officer of the Lexington Institute, a think tank in Arlington, Va.

Army officials will deploy three of the 18 FCS systems in 2008, another one by 2010, three more in 2012 and all 18 systems and the computer network that ties them together by 2014, said Gen. Peter Schoomaker, Army chief of staff, July 21 during testimony before the House Armed Services Committee.

Schoomaker said service officials calculated a 28 percent chance of successfully deploying the first FCS unit based on the original schedule. With the new schedule, Army officials predict a 70 percent probability of successfully deploying the first fully equipped unit by 2014.

Thompson said he did not find comfort in Schoomaker's comment. He said the prediction also means that there is almost a one-in-three chance that Army officials will not field the first FCS unit by then.

Eric Shinseki, who retired as Army chief of staff last summer, wanted the first FCS unit fully equipped by 2008. The unit would train with the new equipmentfor two years and be cleared for combat in 2010.

But Congress decreased the FCS budget for fiscal 2005 by almost $300 million. Thompson explained the budget cut, saying that "the Army must find a simpler way of describing this program if it wants to succeed on Capitol Hill."

Grand Challenge rules

Earlier this month, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency officials released the schedule and rules for the next robotic ground vehicle race.

DARPA officials will hold the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge Event Oct. 8, 2005, in the California desert. The manufacturer of the robotic champion will win $2 million.

Industry officials said the rules, released more than a year ahead of time, include several changes. DARPA officials shortened next year's race from 300 miles to 175 miles. To see the rules, go to www.darpa.mil/grandchallenge/

gc05RulesAug04.pdf.

Al Qaeda and IT

Al Qaeda uses Web sites and e-mail addresses in Turkey, Nigeria and the tribal areas of Pakistan and couriers transporting computer disks to pass messages.

Members of the terrorist group briefly post messages on Web sites and use e-mail addresses only two or three times. They also read the messages on the disks, then delete them, according to a CNN report.

Vendor for Inscom

Army officials awarded a three-year

$89 million contract last week to an industry team led by Object Sciences Corp. to help operate and provide technologies for the service's Information and Security Command (Inscom) and Information Dominance Center.

Object Sciences will work with 14 firms to support Inscom, the command that helps protect Army networks. The industry team will provide computer services including architecture development, collaboration and engineering.

In addition to helping protect networks, Inscom officials investigate the hacking of Army systems using counterterrorism, counterintelligence and information operations. The contract award follows comments from service and industry officials in recent months that Army systems experience daily cyberattacks

Intercept something? Send it to antenna@fcw.com.

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.

Featured

  • computer network

    How Einstein changes the way government does business

    The Department of Commerce is revising its confidentiality agreement for statistical data survey respondents to reflect the fact that the Department of Homeland Security could see some of that data if it is captured by the Einstein system.

  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Army photo by Monica King. Jan. 26, 2017.

    Mattis mulls consolidation in IT, cyber

    In a Feb. 17 memo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told senior leadership to establish teams to look for duplication across the armed services in business operations, including in IT and cybersecurity.

  • Image from Shutterstock.com

    DHS vague on rules for election aid, say states

    State election officials had more questions than answers after a Department of Homeland Security presentation on the designation of election systems as critical U.S. infrastructure.

  • Org Chart Stock Art - Shutterstock

    How the hiring freeze targets millennials

    The government desperately needs younger talent to replace an aging workforce, and experts say that a freeze on hiring doesn't help.

  • Shutterstock image: healthcare digital interface.

    VA moves ahead with homegrown scheduling IT

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will test an internally developed scheduling module at primary care sites nationwide to see if it's ready to service the entire agency.

  • Shutterstock images (honglouwawa & 0beron): Bitcoin image overlay replaced with a dollar sign on a hardware circuit.

    MGT Act poised for a comeback

    After missing in the last Congress, drafters of a bill to encourage cloud adoption are looking for a new plan.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group