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Army Modernization Said to Be on Track

From Reuters

A $100-billion program to modernize the Army is on track and risks identified in a new Army-commissioned report are being addressed, Army and Boeing Co. officials said Tuesday.

“We’re a year and a half now into one of the biggest, most complex development programs ever attempted, and today the program is on cost and it’s on schedule,” said Dennis Muilenburg, Boeing program manager for the Future Combat System.

The Army in July restructured the program, the centerpiece of its drive to become lighter, more rapidly deployable and more lethal, delaying the launch of the first combat unit to be fully equipped for two years until 2014.

Boeing and employee-owned Science Applications International Corp. oversee the program as system integrators, selecting other companies to supply the hardware required.

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The Institute for Defense Analyses recently completed a four-month review on the management structure of the program, concluding that it was working, but urging the Army to keep a close watch on Boeing, Science Applications International and their 23 suppliers.

Given a spate of recent ethics violations at Boeing, the report also urged the Army to adopt a policy of “trust but verify” with regard to the ethics policies of Future Combat System firms.

It did note that Boeing was taking “demonstrable steps to recapture the trust of its customers,” including independent external reviews and strengthened corporate structures.


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