Is This What Has Become of FIST?

Extracted from a recent MoD Contracts Bulletin.

This looks remarkably similar to what was meant to have been delivered during the last 6 years by the 2 year (!!) Assessment Phase.

The "Systems Architect" task also seems remarkably similar, although very much diluted, to what the Prime Contractor was meant to have done in parallel with the Assessment Phase work. It seems suspicious that they've come up with a new title, when the proper one, which everyone recognises and understands, is in the Defence Standard. This usually means they're trying to hide a cock-up, or someone is taking credit for Other Buggers' Efforts.

I recall a very good presentation at Warminster and Shrivenham by the IPT man who developed the strategy and contracted the work. Which begs the question - was this contract cancelled, as this would seem to be duplication, or did the contractor just not deliver.

I think this is pretty important stuff, as the basic premise underpinning FIST was that it would increase tempo, thus reducing casualties. It has to be assumed that if the ISD had been met, then ........

New Contracts Bulletin announcement:

“ Section VI: Summary of Requirements / Description of Work
Summary of Requirements / Description of Work: Research and experimental development services. The Capability Vision (CV) "Reducing the Burden on the Dismounted Soldier" seeks to stimulate technological innovation in a number of areas to reduce the load carried to an acceptable level. Feedback from current operations shows that loads considerably in excess of 45kg are carried on a regular basis, compared to a figure of 25kg (or approximately one-third body mass) referred to in human factors guidelines and used as a standard training load. Tasks 1 to 4 of the CV address technologies for: lightweight personal protection, weapon systems, portable power and assisted load carriage. Task 5, the Systems Architect, is designed to provide the systems engineering framework on which to base the development of integrated, supportable and sustainable solutions. The Soldier Systems Architect will be responsible for defining the architecture, components and interfaces of the dismounted soldier system. This will enable delivery of the innovative technology elements of the Capability Vision, and will be integrated into the wider Dismounted Close Combat (DCC) Systems Architecture. The Systems Architect has a key role in ensuring a coherent, systems engineering approach to DCC capability across the Defence Lines of Development (DLODs), with the Soldier Platform at the centre.

Please see list of Tenderer's for this task:

QinetiQ Limited, Cody Technology Park, Room 007, Building A8
Ively Road, Farnborough, Hampshire, GU14 0LX, Attn Rob Freeman, Commercial Manager.

BMT Defence Services Limited, Maritime House, 210 Lower Bristol Road, Bath ,BA2 3DQ, Attn Richard Star, Commercial Manager.

BAE Systems (Operations) Limited T/A Strategic Capability Solutions, Brennan House, P O Box 87, Farnborough Aerospace Centre, Farnborough, Hampshire, GU14 6YU Attn Tricia Borgonis, Commercial Officer.

Systems Engineering & Assessment Ltd, Land and Air Division, Beckington Castle, 17 Castle Corner, Beckington, Frome, Somerset, BA11 6TA Attn Peter Binham, Commercial Executive.

Thales Optronics Limited, 1, Linthouse Road, Glasgow, G51 4BZ, Attn David Jackson, Commercial Manager.

RJD Technology Ltd, 8 The Green, Rowlands Castle ,Hampshire,
PO9 6BN, Attn Russell Searle, Marketing Director.”
Its a different piece of work.

There was FIST, there was PECOC, there was FDCC, there was the medical people, there is ECM, there is Bowman etc etc.

Each one had its own systems architecture but no one was acting as the coordinator across all the programmes. Hence (very belatedly but nevertheless welcome) the creation of the Individual Capability Group (which has already changed its name) who's job it is to moderate and trade off across all the programmes. In effect be the voice of the soldier.

This is the bit of work that the US, USMC, Canada and most other nations have had for a while.

It will bring some much needed coherence to the Soldier Systems piece; my link was primarily through PECOC and I can tell you that for once this is a new group that we need. At least the it will mean that ITDU gets an avenue for their concerns.

My understanding (from the presentation at ITDU I mentioned, about 7 years ago) was that the contract for what you describe was let at this time. My point was that nothing seems to have happened and if, as you say, the names/titles have changed, it would seem it was allowed to die a death.

As for the US etc, I recall THEY copied US! It's just that they have maintained momentum.

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