Earlier this year the Trump administration released a report outlining its plan for the future of America’s defense technology. Countries around the world are ramping up their military technology to avoid war as much as possible. New innovations in technology can actually decrease the need for combat in many cases. Terrorist plots can be seen and infiltrated before they happen, dangerous combat areas can be avoided and new developments in AI are making life in the field safer.
These strategic thrusts are beginning to redirect this Country’s massive defense investment so that it is equally effective and more inviting of our wider industrial base.
This means a larger focus more R&D over DOD on dual-use services and products and processes, emphasizing affordable advances in hightech defense methods. Investments in technologies which are both critical to shield systems and imperative to commercial industries serve a double use.
The Future Of US Defense Tech
TRP funds are now offered for three important areas: technology development, to create innovative technologies with the potential for commercialization over 5 years; technology installation, to disseminate present technology for near-term defense and commercial products and also to support improved use of technologies in small businesses; and fabricating education and training, to fortify workforce and engineering capacities necessary for a competitive industrial base.
Six Federal agencies collectively manage and implement the TRP. Led by the Defense Department’s ARPA, the other participating agencies would be the Commerce Department’s National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Departments of Energy and Transportation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and the National Science Foundation.
To encourage shield firms to participate in dual-use combined R&D, the Administration has clarified regulations about the use of independent research and development (IR&D) financing as a portion of a firm’s donation to some cost-sharing proposal. Use of both IR&D monies as a piece of industry matching funds is permitted in certain types of cooperative arrangements involving builders working jointly with the others (e.g., joint ventures, teaming arrangements, and consortia).
DOD has launched a significant new initiative with Japan to acquire access to its own commercial engineering, manufacturing knowhow components, components, and sub- processes. This effort attempts to better balance the important levels of U.S. defense technology that flow to Japan, with a compensating flow of dual-use technologies gained from commercial firms in Japan for use in defense software. The emphasis is on fostering company-to-company linkages that gain access to our defense industrial base to Western expertise and data.
DOD has suggested significant new initiatives in jointly developing military systems with this NATO allies. Joint development programs can cause additional expense since language, cultural, and institutional gaps generally have to be overcome. However, this Administration is firmly convinced that profits from dividing development costs with partners and by interoperability of systems may substantially exceed the incremental costs of carrying the issue to work together with allies.
Now, though defense continues to blaze the road in key areas of leading edge research, the rate at that invention is actually moved into production usually lags well behind the industrial industry in important industries such as computers and microelectronics. However an ever more rigid defense acquisition process lengthened production cycles and increased costs at exactly the same time that commercial ventures began the drive to cut costs and time to market.
Defense systems’ development requirements and benefits diverged from the industrial main- flow, which has been spurred by stiff overseas competition and dramatic technology advances. Historically, this Nation’s policies to encourage the development of advanced industrial technology were moved primarily by federal security concerns. This linkage traces back to post-Revolutionary occasions, when the government spurred the development of an interchangeable parts method of fabricating to meet a pressing demand for rifles. The federal government’s impact on manufacturing was significant then and it remained so, at least until recently.
To read the full report click here.