Army selects team for 'Future' work

The Army took a major leap in its transformation efforts by selecting Boeing Co.'s Space and Communications group and Science Applications International Corp. for the service's Future Combat Systems project.

Boeing and SAIC will be the lead systems integrators in developing technologies for the Army's Objective Force, which will have broad ramifications for how the Army operates during war and peacetime.

The $154 million contract, awarded March 7, will integrate information technology into vehicles used throughout the Army with the goal of making its fighting force more agile yet just as lethal.

"We are looking to allow the Army to have brigade-level effects in a battalion-sized force," said Bob Mitchell, Boeing's director of strategic development.

"Future Combat Systems is a major step in the transformation of the Army," said Claude Bolton Jr., assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology, and naming the lead systems integrator is "critical to making the Objective Force a reality in this decade."

As envisioned, the Future Combat Systems would create an integrated battlespace, where networked information and communications systems provide a competitive edge to soldiers in the field and commanders in the control room, officials said.

Under the contract, the Boeing/SAIC team has six months to demonstrate that the concept of having a lead systems integrator will work, at which point the Pentagon will decide whether to go forward.

The plan is to have operational capability by 2010, Army officials said.

About the Author

Christopher J. Dorobek is the co-anchor of Federal News Radio’s afternoon drive program, The Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, and the founder, publisher and editor of the DorobekInsider.com, a leading blog for the Federal IT community.

Dorobek joined Federal News Radio in 2008 with 16 years of experience covering government issues with an emphasis on government information technology. Prior to joining Federal News Radio, Dorobek was editor-in-chief of Federal Computer Week, the leading news magazine for government IT decision-makers and the flagship of the 1105 Government Information Group portfolio of publications. As editor-in-chief, Dorobek served as a member of the senior leadership team at 1105 Government Information Group, providing daily editorial direction and management for FCW magazine, FCW.com, Government Health IT and its other editorial products.

Dorobek joined FCW in 2001 as a senior reporter and assumed increasing responsibilities, becoming managing editor and executive editor before being named editor-in-chief in 2006. Prior to joining FCW, Dorobek was a technology reporter at PlanetGov.com, one of the first online community centers for current and former government employees. He also spent five years at Government Computer News, another leading industry publication, covering a variety of federal IT-related issues.

Dorobek is a frequent speaker on issues involving the government IT industry, and has appeared as a frequent contributor to NewsChannel 8’s Federal News Today program. He began his career as a reporter at the Foster’s Daily Democrat, a daily newspaper in Dover, N.H. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California. He lives in Washington, DC.


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