Army leans toward Linux for FCS

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — The Army is leaning toward Linux as the operating system for the service’s Future Combat System (FCS) program.

The Army said it believes Linux running on Intel-based computers provides the best common operating environment and central processing unit for computers in FCS. The Linux-Intel solution works best with the service’s current and future applications, said Maj. Gen. Charles Cartwright, the Army’s program manager for the FCS Brigade Combat Team.

The service wants a common PC environment throughout FCS. A Linux-Intel architecture looks like it will work best, Cartwright said during an interview yesterday at the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual winter conference here.

FCS is the Army’s next-generation of manned and robotic air and ground systems connected by a fast, secure communications network that will require 35 millions lines of computer code. The network will consist of four layers: applications, services, transport and standards.

Last year, the Army announced plans to equip soldiers with some FCS technologies starting in 2008, sooner than originally planned. However, the service will not deploy the first fully equipped FCS unit until 2014.

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