The House Armed Services Committee agreed Wednesday to cut the Army’s Future Combat System to provide money for National Guard and reserve equipment.
The 33-23 vote to cut $233 million from the FCS program was along party lines.
Rep. Neil Abercrombie, D-Hawaii, chairman of the committee’s air and land forces panel and a supporter of the MRAP funding, said the committee’s version of the 2009 defense policy bill includes money for most of the Bush administration requests for the Army, including $2.2 billion for upgrading Abrams tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles and Stryker vehicles; $3.4 billion for tactical vehicles including $947 million for heavily armored Humvees; $3.1 billion for helicopters; and more than $1 billion for munitions.
However, the bill also makes a 5.5 percent reduction in funding for the Army’s FCS program. Abercrombie said the cut is needed so that money can be shifted to higher priorities, like readiness, and also reflects a –history of delays and cost overruns” in the program.
–It is $110 billion over budget and five years behind schedule,” he said. –I hardly think they have been cut short. And, it has not produced a single deployable system in six years of development.”
There’s a lot of good stuff coming out of the FCS program (the NLOS-C, for example) by overall it’s a moneypit with little to show and less hope for the future of combat.
I think scaling back the budget for FCS to upgrade current systems that work and are in use today only makes sense.