General Dynamics and Rockwell Collins debut first integrated computer systems for the Future Combat Systems program

General Dynamics C4 Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Rockwell Collins of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, unveiled the first integrated computer systems (ICS) in the U.S. Army’s Future Combat Systems (FCS) program.

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By Courtney E. Howard

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - General Dynamics C4 Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics in Scottsdale, Ariz., and Rockwell Collins of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, unveiled the first integrated computer systems (ICS) in the U.S. Army’s Future Combat Systems (FCS) program.

The General Dynamics-Rockwell Collins ICS team presented prototype units during the Association of the U.S. Army Institute of Land Warfare’s Winter Symposium and Exhibition in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Embedded in mobile platforms, ICS is a secure, integrated, common computing environment used by 13 of 14 FCS platforms, including a network of sensors, unmanned aerial platforms, and manned and unmanned ground platforms.

The ICS team unified once disparate systems into one integrated processing environment designed to deliver FCS-equipped military units with exceptional processing, networking, data-storage, and information assurance capabilities.

“ICS is the heart of FCS, the U.S. Army’s transformational program to enable network-centric warfare,” John van Dyke, director of Net-Centric Systems for General Dynamics C4 Systems, explains. “This accomplishment provides a key component of the high-performance technology infrastructure required to take FCS to the next level of preparedness and bring the future of combat to the current force.”

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The Abrams tank, shown above, and the Bradley fighting vehicle are among the first current-force vehicles to be updated with FCS integrated computer systems.
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“ICS accomplishes one of the central objectives of the FCS program-the ability to provide real-time connectivity across the battlespace, using common hardware and software,” says Woody Hogle, vice president and general manager for Government Integrated Systems at Rockwell Collins.

The systems are engineered to deliver computing, networking, and information assurance resources to U.S. Army current-force vehicles, company representatives say. Once equipped with the new computer system, current-force vehicles can serve as nodes in the overall FCS network.

The ICS team designed and built, as well as tested, the current-force integrated computer systems in 21 months, enabling the rapid spin-out of FCS capabilities in current-force vehicles. Bradley fighting vehicles, Abrams main battle tanks, and command variant high-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicles will be equipped with ICS as part of the first spin-out of FCS future-force technologies in 2008.

More information about General Dynamics and Rockwell Collins is available online at www.generaldynamics.com and www.rockwellcollins.com, respectively.

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