FCS Network

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The Army's FCS (BCT) network enables the FCS (BCT) Family-of-Systems (FoS) to operate as a cohesive system-of-systems where the whole of its capabilities is greater than the sum of its parts. As the key to the Army's transformation, the network and its logistics and Embedded Training (ET) systems, enable the Army to employ revolutionary operational and organizational concepts. The network enables Soldiers to perceive, comprehend, shape, and dominate the future battlefield at unprecedented levels as defined by the FCS (BCT) Operational Requirements Document (ORD).

The FCS (BCT) network consists of five layers that when combined provides seamless delivery of data: The Standards, Transport, Services, Applications, and Sensors and Platforms Layers. The FCS (BCT) network possesses the adaptability and management functionality required to maintain pertinent services, while the FCS (BCT) fights on a rapidly shifting battlespace giving them the advantage to see first, understand first, act first, and finish decisively.


Standards Layer

The Standards Layer is the foundation of the FCS (BCT) network. It provides the governance for which the other layers are shaped and formed. The FCS (BCT) network will conform to the standards documentation to ensure that the net-centric attributes (flexible, adaptable distributed computing environment) are in place to move into the net-centric environment as part of a service-oriented architecture in the GIG. Information needs, information timeliness, information assurance, and net-ready attributes provide overarching guidance to ensure the technical exchange of information and the end-to-end operational effectiveness. Conformance to these standards permits seamless interoperability with combined and coalition forces for all National Security Systems (NSS) and Information Technology (IT) systems.

DoD Directive 4630.5 and DoD Instruction 4630.8 and DoD 5000 series state that Interoperability is "the ability to provide and accept data, information, materiel, and services" and further state "...includes both the technical exchange of information and the end-to-end operational effectiveness of that exchange, as required for mission accomplishment." The FCS (BCT) Network will conform to DISA standards that ensure end-to-end interoperability testing & Network Testing. The FCS (BCT) Network will adhere to CJCSI 3170.01D, Capabilities Integration and Development System and CJCSM 3170.01, Operation of the Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System that established Joint Capabilities Integration and Development System (JCIDS) with NR KPP for Capstone Requirements Document (CRD), Capability Development Document (CDD), and Capability Production Document (CPD).

Transport Layer

The FCS (BCT) Family-of-Systems (FoS) are connected to the command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) network by a multilayered transport layer with unprecedented range, capacity and dependability. The primarily mobile transport layer provides secure, reliable access to information sources over extended distances and complex terrain. The network will support advanced functionalities such as integrated network management, information assurance and information dissemination management to ensure dissemination of critical information among sensors, processors and warfighters both within, and external to the FCS (BCT)-equipped organization.

The FCS (BCT) transport layer does not rely on a large and separate infrastructure because it is primarily embedded in the mobile platforms and moves with the combat formations. This enables the command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C4ISR) network to provide superior Battle Command (BC) on the move to achieve offensive-oriented, high-tempo operations.

The FCS (BCT) transport layer is comprised of several heterogeneous communication systems including the Joint Tactical Radio System (JTRS) and Warfighter Information Network-Tactical (WIN-T). FCS (BCT) leverages all available resources to provide a robust, survivable, scalable and reliable heterogeneous communications network that seamlessly integrates ground, near ground, airborne and space-borne assets for constant connectivity and layered redundancy.

The FCS (BCT) Network Management System will be utilized to manage the entire FCS (BCT) network including radios with different waveforms, platform routers, and local area networks (LANs), information assurance elements, and hosts. It provides a full spectrum of management capabilities required during all mission phases, including pre-mission planning, rapid network configuration upon deployment in the area of operations, monitoring the network during mission execution and dynamic adaptation of network policies in response to network performance and failure conditions.

Services Layer

Central to FCS (BCT) network implementation is the Services Layer, commonly referred to as System-of-Systems Common Operating Environment (SOSCOE), which supports multiple mission-critical applications independently and simultaneously. It is configurable so that any specific instantiation can incorporate only the components that are needed for that instantiation. It enables straightforward integration of separate software packages, independent of their location, connectivity mechanism and the technology used to develop them.

The Services Layer architecture uses commercial off-the-shelf hardware and a Joint Tactical Architecture-Army compliant operating environment to produce a nonproprietary, standards-based component architecture for real-time, near-real-time, and non-real-time applications. The Services Layer also contains administrative applications that provide capabilities including login service, startup, logoff, erase, memory zeroize, alert/emergency restart and monitoring/control. The Services Layer framework allows for integration of critical interoperability services that translate Army, Joint, and coalition formats to native, internal FCS (BCT) message formats using a common format translation service. Because all interoperability services use these common translation services, new external formats will have minimal impact on the FCS (BCT) software baseline. The FCS (BCT) software is supported by application-specific interoperability services that act as proxy agents for each Joint and Army system. The Application Layer can access these interoperability services through applicable program interfaces that provide isolation between the domain applications, thereby facilitating ease of software modifications and upgrades.

The Services Layer is the open architecture middleware of the FCS (BCT) Network; it provides a window to the Situational Awareness Data Base and enables the interactive functioning of the Applications Layer and the Network Manager. In addition, the Services Layer provides message translation services to achieve Joint, Interagency, and Multinational (JIM) interoperability.

Applications Layer

The Applications Layer is responsible for providing the integrated ability to assess, plan, and execute network-centric mission operations using a common interface and a set of non-overlapping functional services that provides the full range of FCS (BCT) Warfighter capabilities to include: Integrated On-The-Move Common Operational Picture Real of the 4D Battlespace Real-time collaboration among dispersed warfighters Real-time assessment and sharing of combat power Common display interface for the Soldier based on role, echelon, and permissions Automated deconfliction of Blue Forces, air/ground space, and fires Automated planning and rehearsal decision making process Multi-levels of fusion for situation refinement to the platform Decision aiding supporting Command and Control (C2) of multiple unmanned airborne, unattended sensor & munitions, and ground systems Dynamic sensor planning, tasking & collection visualization to support Commanders Critical Information Requirements (CCIR) at all levels Rapid battlefield damage assessment tied to networked fires Execution monitoring and dynamic plan adjustment based on changes in the current situation Full control and autonomy of unmanned systems and payloads The Applications Layer incorporates ten software service packages covering each battle command functional domains. These ten software services packages' combined capabilities enable full interaction among the FCS (BCTs) and will share a common framework to achieve the long-desired goal of an integrated and interoperable system with no hardware, software or information stovepipes.

The Applications Layer will provide the ability for cross Battlefield Functional Area (BFA) problem solving and decision aiding capability for all brigade and below echelons, the ability to allow doctrine and tactics, techniques, and procedures (TTP) to evolve during development and after fielding, the ability to provide rapid reconfiguration of roles and levels of automation during execution, and the ability to promote development efficiencies prior to fielding and technology refresh and insertion afterwards.

Networked Logistics Systems

The key to the success of the FCS (BCT) is the Networked Logistics Systems integrated through the Family-of-Systems (FOS) to achieve the logistics goals of reducing the logistics footprint, enhancing deployability, increasing operational availability, and reducing total ownership costs. These critical program goals are included in the two logistics Key Performance Parameters (KPP), KPP 4 (Transportability/Deployability) and KPP 5 (Sustainability/Reliability). Inherent to meeting these KPPs is the integration of logistics in the command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (C4ISR) network primarily through the Platform-Soldier Mission Readiness System (PSMRS) and the Logistics Decision Support System (LDSS). These systems provide unprecedented depth and accuracy of logistics information and decision tools to the commanders and logisticians by enabling the distribution system to deliver the right stuff to the right place at the right time reducing O&S costs. The supportability of the FCS (BCT) is further enabled by the reduction of demand designed into the System of Systems. Increased Reliability Availability Maintainability-Test (RAM-T) goals and implementing a Performance Based Logistics (PBL) support concept through extensive up front systems engineering efforts will result in increased Operational Availability and significant decreases in both parts and maintenance personnel while generating increased combat power. The time required to execute a repair is significantly decreased through implementation of "Pit-Stop Engineering" designs for maintenance easing both crew and maintainer burdens.


Public domain - US Government - Unclassified - accessed on May 29, 2007

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