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Lethal Linux

Future Combat Systems (FCS, www.darpa.mil/fcs) is a $4 billion Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA, www.darpa.mil) program with an immodest purpose that its web site puts this way:

The FCS program will develop network-centric concepts for a multi-mission combat system that will be overwhelmingly lethal, strategically deployable, self-sustaining and highly survivable in combat through the use of an ensemble of manned and unmanned ground and air platforms.

The Lead System Integrator (LSI) selected for the Army's FCS is The Boeing Company's Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC, www.saic.com), which is expected to field its results in the year 2010. The selection announcement was made in March 2002. In November 2002, at a Boeing C4ISR (Command, Control, Computers, Communications, Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance) conference, a Boeing FAQ (www.boeing.com/defense-space/ic/fcs/bia/faq_c4isr_conf.html) addressed the operating system question:

Q: COMPUTERS—What operating system will FCS use? Windows? VX Works? Lynxos? Linux? Other?

A: FCS C4ISR has selected the Linux OS.

—Doc Searls

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