Home' Army Acquisition Logistics and Technology Magazine : Army ALT January-March 2013 Contents Team of the U. S. Army Research, Devel-
opment, and Engineering Command
By focusing solely on mature technologies,
FCT acquisitions avoid the high costs
associated with extended research and
development (R&D). For example, it was
estimated that government R&D costs
would have been $2--3 million to build
a comparable processing system for the
meat dehydration project from scratch.
Furthermore, the project would take at
least three to ve years to develop.
By testing and incorporating the already
mature French system, these upfront
R&D costs were avoided and tastier, long-
lasting meat products will be on the way
to U.S. service members much sooner.
(See related article on Page 89.)
As of Oct. 31, 2012, 671 FCT projects
had been initiated, and 600 of those com-
pleted. Of the 311 projects that met service
requirements, 256 were transitioned for
procurements worth $10.8 billion.
e FCT Program adapts continually to
changing environments. Before 1989, the
program was referred to as the Foreign
Weapons Evaluation and NATO Com-
parative Testing programs and focused
initially on NATO allies. at year, the
program was reborn as the Foreign
Comparative Testing Program with autho-
rization from Congress. At the end of the
Cold War, the program broadened its
scope to involve countries such as South
Korea, Australia, and South Africa, which
have supplied life-saving technologies.
e South African-developed Mine Pro-
tected Clearance Vehicle, or Bu alo, was
successfully evaluated in 2002. It uses
V-shaped hull technology to counteract
roadside explosives. e timing could not
have been better, as the Bu alo would
be used extensively throughout Iraq and
Afghanistan and save lives.
With the coming withdrawal of forces
from Afghanistan and DOD facing a new
age of scal austerity, the FCT Program
helps meet new challenges by promoting
Joint programs and resource sharing. By
doing more with less, the program makes
e cient use of taxpayer dollars.
EVALUATE AND BUY
Despite a huge number of technologies
on which to focus, the OSD has one clear
goal for the FCT Program: evaluate and
" e FCT Program takes the best tech-
nology the world has to o er and puts it
directly in the hands of our young men
and women in the eld. e program has
been a tremendous asset to the Army, and
it has been a privilege for RDECOM to
take the lead for our service," said omas
Mulkern, leader of RDECOM's Inter-
national Technology Integration Team,
which oversees the Army FCT program.
Each military branch and the U.S. Spe-
cial Operations Command conduct
FCT programs. Each nominates mature
military or commercial products that pro-
vide a needed solution. Each service also
conducts assessments and elds the tech-
nology when it is approved for acquisition.
FCT successes have been many. Since
the program's inception, projects from
31 countries have been completed, and
foreign vendors have teamed with U.S.
industry in 34 states. Considerations such
as exportability and intellectual property
limitations are considered upfront during
the initial proposal submission process.
Successful proposals that are selected for
funding have a strategy in place to address
problem areas and allow the U.S. mili-
tary access to critical information once an
item is elded.
e program is an example of how NATO
and other foreign partners help satisfy
U.S. technology requirements or help
shore up operational de ciencies. Because
SEEKING NEW TECHNOLOGIES
The search for game-changing military technology leads the Army and DOD to foreign expositions
and displays. Once identified, a new technology may be acquired through the FCT Program. Here,
SGT David Drugagh of 1st Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment, talks about the capabilities of the Mine
Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle with Heidi Shyu, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition,
Logistics, and Technology, June 11 during the 2012 Eurosatory International Exhibition in Paris.
(U.S. Army photo by SSG Brooks Fletcher, U.S. Army Public Affairs)
86 Army AL&T Magazine January--March 2013
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