Timeline: Army Modernization and Future Combat Systems

Bradley fighting vehicle
Bradley fighting vehicle. (David K. Dismukes - U.S. Army via Bloomberg News)
Friday, December 7, 2007; 12:00 AM

World War I: Introduction of tanks, airplanes, machine guns.

World War II: Introduction of communication from ground to airplanes by radio. Introduction of Atomic bomb. Infantry moved by truck rather than by foot.

Vietnam War: Introduction of M16 rifle, giving every infantryman an automatic rifle.

1970s: Development of Abrams tank.

1970s: Introduction of widespread use of night vision goggles.

1981: Introduction of Bradley fighting vehicle.

1990s: Emergence of the Internet and wireless technology.

1996-1999: Intellectual underpinnings of Future Combat Systems through Army After Next, a series of wargames.

1999: Army bogged down in Albania during Kosovo War, hastening call for faster, lighter force.

1999: Army begins concept for Future Combat Systems under Army Chief of Staff Gen. Eric K. Shinseki.

1999-2003: Army develops operational requirements and plans and analysis for Future Combat Systems.

2002: Boeing and SAIC selected as lead systems integrators for Future Combat Systems.

2003: Program officially started.

Summer, 2007: Army Evaluation Task Force, or AETF, formed at Ftort Bliss to assess Future Combat Systems.

October, 2007: AETF begins testing and evaluation of "Spin out 1," first set of prototypes.

February 25-March 25, 2008: First technical field tests of "Spin out 1."

2009: Congressionally-directed decision on whether to proceed with Future Combat Systems.

2011: Completion of critical design review.

2012: First major test of network with majority of prototypes.

2013: Initial production starts.

2015: The first brigade combat team equipped with complete Future Combat Systems.

2017: Army goes into full-rate production.

2030: 15 bridages equipped with complete Future Combat Systems.

Sources: GAO, Congressional Budget Office, Army, military historians, military contractors.

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