Key to  US Military's Future Exists in Huntington Beach

Huntington Beach - Computer scientists are working on  wireless communications network that could be the key to the US military's future. For more than a year, the engineers have pieced together 18 separate types of combat systems. Writing software that will one day link soldiers on the battlefield with satellites and unmanned ground vehicles, a small army of private contractors led by Boeing, is charged with making this vision of future warfare a reality.

More than $14 billion has been earmarked for the Future Combat Systems project by the Army.  An additional $6 billion may be added this year. Delivery of some of the technology is expected as early as 2008, with the goal of equipping a 3,000 soldier unit by 2014.

The Army's vision includes a high-tech force with soldiers equipped with handheld computers and access to near real-time information about enemy positions, supplies needed and more. Remote-controlled attack craft could be navigated over the same system.