It’s time to make defense acquisition faster, the Pentagon’s top weapons buyer recently told lawmakers.
How fast? Request proposals, evaluate the options, and award a contract in 12 months or less, said Ellen Lord, defense undersecretary for acquisition, technology and logistics.
“Now that’s a first step, I would like to be on record to say,” Lord told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Dec. 8th.
There are various ways to measure how slowly the defense acquisition process moves, but whichever one you pick, Lord’s goal is ambitious. Sen. Mike Rounds, R-S.D., noted that it can take the Pentagon long enough to acquire new technology that it can be out-of-date by the time the contract is signed. Rounds pegged the process at about two and a half years. Any project with software in it — be it a cellphone or high-end military capability — is likely going to evolve into its next iteration in that time, let alone before troops get their hands on it.
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