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Army keeps two development projects

  |   Feb. 7, 2011 at 12:14 PM
WASHINGTON, Feb. 7 (UPI) -- The U.S. Army announced a decision to continue low-rate production of a small unmanned ground vehicle and tactical network system.

The two systems are part of the Army's Early-Infantry Combat Team program, an acquisition project started after the cancellation in 2009 of the ambitious Future Combat Systems program.

Two other programs -- unattended ground sensors and Class 1 Unmanned Air System -- will no longer be pursued under the umbrella of the modernization program. Procurement of these elements will transition to program executive offices with primary responsibility for these systems.

"An E-IBCT acquisition decision memorandum, signed by the undersecretary of defense (acquisition, technology and logistics) on Feb. 3, 2011, formalized this decision," The Department of Defense said in a news release. "The Army developed the E-IBCT program in an effort to accelerate fielding of key network and sensor capabilities. This decision allows the Army to pursue an acquisition approach enabling the continued development of the tactical network.

"The Army remains committed to providing soldiers with the most effective equipment available. These standards require diligent and informed choices as systems are evaluated, tested and fielded in support of this goal.

"The decision to conclude the E-IBCT program and shift the remaining elements to other program offices carefully balances military utility, system performance and affordability with the immediate needs of our warfighters," it said.

Additional details weren't given.

E-IBCT systems are to enhance brigade intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; precision indirect fires; and command and control capabilities.

Prime contractors on various E-IBCT efforts include divisions of Boeing, Honeywell, Textron, Raytheon and iRobot.

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