March 12, 2009
Highlights of GAO-09-288, a report to congressional committees
The Future Combat System (FCS) program is the centerpiece of the Army’s effort to transition to a lighter, more agile, and more capable combat force. By law, GAO is to report annually on the FCS program. Also, law requires the Department of Defense (DOD) to hold a milestone review of the FCS program, now planned for 2009. This report addresses (1) what knowledge will likely be available in key areas for the review, and (2) the challenges that lie ahead following the review. To meet these objectives, GAO reviewed key documents, performed analysis, attended demonstrations and design reviews, and interviewed DOD officials.
What GAO Recommends
GAO suggests Congress consider not approving full funds for the program until several conditions are met, such as preparation of a complete budget for any program emerging from the milestone review. GAO also recommends the Secretary of Defense, among other things, ensure: the program that emerges conforms to current defense acquisition policy, such as technology maturity; any spin out approach is based on fully tested results; and any incremental strategy involves free-standing, justifiable increments. DOD concurred with GAO’s recommendations.
FCS (Future Combat System)