By Ann Roosevelt

Boeing [BA] has delivered its termination proposal for the manned ground vehicle (MGV) portion of the Future Combat System, a company official said.

“We’ve started negotiation closure with all suppliers,” said Paul Geery, vice president and program manager for Boeing’s Brigade Combat Team, Modernization Program.

The Defense Contract Audit Agency is now auditing Boeing and supplier costs.

“Ninety-nine percent of the issues will be closed in the next four or five months,” he told Defense Daily at the Association of the United States Army annual conference.

The formal termination followed a June 23, 2009 Acquisition Decision Memorandum, which followed decisions made by Defense Secretary Robert Gates in April 2009 (Defense Daily, March 3).

The reorganized portions of FCS, now under the Boeing-managed Brigade Combat Team Modernization (BCTM) program as Increment 1 for the Early Infantry Brigade Combat Teams has been proceeding well.

The overall assessment last year gave the effort a “black eye” in reliability, Geery said. However, with 100-plus changes to the systems, “the results of the technical test going into the Limited User Test showed dramatic improvement.”

Cost is even more important than it used to be in being able to meet very aggressive milestones, Geery said. Aside from government funding issues in the last year, the program is on schedule.

Last year, the acquisition official approved and authorized low-rate initial production for one infantry brigade of BCTM capabilities and long-lead procurement was approved for equipment for brigades 2 and 3. A Defense Acquisition Board review now scheduled for Dec. 22 could bring additional low-rate initial production approval for equipment for the next two brigades.

Next year, the full-rate production decision would be made for the remaining Increment 1 brigades, which the Army might choose to contract with Boeing, with original equipment manufacturers, or take some other path.

Now, the program is moving toward determining Increment 2 equipment, and trying to accelerate the process.