Report: U.S. army advances ambitious modernization plan

The U.S. Army is going ahead with its ambitious 200-billion-U.S.-dollar modernization plan amid controversy, the Washington Post reported Friday.

Report: U.S. army advances ambitious modernization plan
The plan, known as the Future Combat Systems, or the FCS, involves creating a family of 14 weapons, drones, robots, sensors and hybrid-electric combat vehicles connected by a wireless network.

The FCS has turned into the most ambitious modernization of the Army since World War II and the most expensive Army weapons program ever.

It is also one of the most controversial.

Even as some early versions of these weapons make their way on to the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan, members of Congress, government investigators and military observers question whether the Defense Department has set the stage for one of its biggest and costliest failures.

At risk, they say, are billions of taxpayer dollars spent on exotic technology that may never come to fruition, leaving the Army little time and few resources to prepare for new threats.

The FCS "has some serious problems," said Neil Abercrombie (D-Hawaii), chairman of the House air and land forces subcommittee.

"Since its inception, costs have gone up dramatically while promised capability has steadily diminished... And now, with the Army's badly degraded state of readiness from nearly five years of continuous combat in Iraq, I don't see how the Army can afford to rebuild itself and pay for the FCS program as it stands today," he said.

The idea of the FCS is to create a lighter, faster force that can react better to tomorrow's unpredictable foes.

The last time the U.S. Army tried anything so far-reaching was more than half a century ago when it introduced mechanized forces, moving soldiers en masse by machine rather than by foot.

The Government Accountability Office and the Congressional Budget Office have questioned the cost and management of the FCS.

Agencies

Güncelleme Tarihi: 07 Aralık 2007, 18:15
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