A federal study on the health of the nation’s defense industrial base which is nearly ready for release will focus on near-term interventions needed to ensure military production could be rapidly scaled up in the event of a crisis, rather than more far-reaching changes that would address the nation’s loss of dominance in a variety of high-tech fields. Shortcomings that could leave the military vulnerable if war were to break out include aging facilities, dependence on a single depot to manufacture cannons for the Army’s armored vehicles, a reliance on imports for critical materials, including from adversaries such as China and Russia, and the lack of critical machine tooling in the United States.
Those shortcomings represent single points of failure in the nation’s defense industrial base, reports Breaking Defense. And rather than focusing on prime contractors, the study will zero in on potential shortfalls in the supply chain involving second-, third- and fourth-tier subcontractors. The study is almost completed but it is not expected to be released immediately as officials first will brief lawmakers on its findings.
A separate study under way by the National Defense University’s Eisenhower School will take a broader look at the nation’s industrial base policy and include recommendations for the Pentagon to foster innovation.
Army photo by David Vergun