03 Sep 2019

US army looks to industry to upgrade technology

During an event in Washington, the Acting Army Secretary emphasised the need to adopt industry techniques to upgrade technology in the military.

Acting Army Secretary Ryan D. McCarthy said that the US military needs to adopt similar strategies to industry to upgrade technology during an event at the Defense of Democracies Center in Washington. He spoke about the need to streamline processes to stay up to date with innovation and stay ahead of other sectors.

The US DOD has committed to improving the process of acquiring new weapons and pricing. The DOD hopes to create similar structures to US industry in order to stay up to date with products.

He outlined three ways the army has improved its supply chain processes, saying they:

  • Identified the six highest priorities needed for fighting near-peer or peer competitors: long-range precision fires, next-generation combat vehicle, future vertical lift, the network, and air and missile defence. The bulk of the Army’s science and technology budget is now being directed to 31 systems that will support those six priorities, McCarthy said.
  • To fund those six priorities, the Army divested legacy systems and cut back on others. “We truncated the buys on 93 programs and terminated 93 others. We made some very big, hard choices,” he said, citing examples of winding down purchases of Bradley fighting vehicles and Chinook helicopters to save funding for a next-generation combat vehicle and a future vertical-lift aircraft.
  • The Army made its biggest organisational structure change in nearly half a century, standing up Army Futures Command, which reached full operational capacity on July 31.

The new Army Futures Command aims to bring stakeholders together to reduce decision-making time. The command, based in Texas, allows groups to communicate rather than acting as a military installation and will work with acquisition communities, academia, and industry to assess requirements and stay up to date with military technology and capability.

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