Complexity of Army Software Raises Concern

Mammoth Boeing project is most costly weapons plan
By Jonas Oransky,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 24, 2008 5:07 PM CST
Lt. Col. Coll S. Haddon, left, talks with Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, right, and Dennis Muilenburg, with The Boeing Company during a tour at the Raytheon plant Thursday Aug. 16, 2007 in Dallas. Cornyn...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – More than 2,000 developers are working on a $200 billion software project considered the biggest Army modernization since World War II, but many worry the Boeing-led Future Combat Systems may come in late and severely flawed. FCS, which dwarfs Windows in complexity, would enable communication with hovering drones, bomb-defusing robots, and laser-guided missiles—but congressional overseers are getting anxious, the Washington Post reports.

A new generation of combat vehicles—built to operate with the new system—has less heavy armor, a bet on FCS’ capacity to detect enemies first. But the programs may not be ready in time, and experts worry about their vulnerability to hackers. The amount of code needed has also expanded. Boeing rejects the criticism, noting considerable progress and costs that have remained in check.