U.S. Army to announce reshaped modernization plan

WASHINGTON, June 26 (Reuters) - The U.S. Army said on Thursday it was speeding up delivery of parts of its $160 billion Future Combat Systems program in what could be a net positive for the co-program managers, Boeing Co BA.N and Science Applications International Corp SAI.N.

The Army will hold a briefing later in the day to detail acceleration of “some of the technologies going to soldiers fighting right now in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Lindy Kyzer, an Army spokeswoman.

Future Combat Systems, or FCS, is the centerpiece of Army modernization. It consists of 14 manned and unmanned systems tied together by communications and information links.

The plan is to replace systems such as the M-1 Abrams tank and the M-2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicle among other weapons.

The Army is seeking about $3.6 billion in fiscal 2009 for the Future Combat Systems program, or about 10 percent of its combined research and procurement request for the year.

The House of Representatives Armed Services Committee voted to cut about $200 million from the request for fiscal 2009, which starts Oct. 1. (Reporting by Jim Wolf; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)