The Defense Acquisition Challenge: A strategy for Improving Weapon System Affordability

WARNING: Date published: UNKNOWN
Author(s)
Lieutenant Colonel Robert N. Gamache U.S. Air Force; Faculty Research Advisor Dr. Edwin R. Carlisle
Publisher
The Industrial College of the Armed Forces
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1993
Executive Research Project
RS5
The Defense Acquisition
Challenge: A Strategy for
Improving Weapon System
Affordability
Lieutenant Colonel
Robert N. Gamache
U.S. Air Force
Faculty Research Advisor
Dr. Edwin R. Carlisle
The Industrial College of the Armed Forces
National Defense University
Fort McNair, Washington, D.C. 20319-6000

Extract(s)

The U.S. defense establishment has developed and fielded
weaponry that is clearly second to none--either in technological
superiority or in excessive cost. The post-cold war national
security environment has created an imperative to reduce defense
budgets still further. Hence, our challenge is to craft a different
acquisition approach--one that maintains the technological
supremacy of U.S. weapon systems at a more affordable cost.
In July 1992, the Department of Defense announced a new
Science and Technology (S&T) strategy to deal with this
acquisition challenge. This new S&T approach contained many of
the resource strategy elements proposed earlier in February 1992
by Representative Les Aspin. Under either approach, force modernization
improvements will occur less frequentiy. Technology
will be matured through successive generations in a laboratory
environment before entering the Department's formal acquisition
pipeline. Hence, the new S&T strategy emphasizes technology
"roll over" and limited nnmbers of operational prototypes rather
than high volume production. No changes were made to improve the
acquisition process itself. However, the Director of Defense
Research and Engineering (DDR&E) was given additional authority
to exert more centralized control over the defense science and
technology program. In theory, the DDR&E will use this authority
to eliminate duplication among the military services.

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