Military leaders say they are determined to find faster ways to buy cutting-edge technologies.
“We can’t afford to spend seven years thinking about a requirement,” Army Undersecretary Ryan D. McCarthy said during a 2018 visit to Fort Belvoir, Virginia.
“If it is going to take that long, you are probably not going to get it. So, we need to get these capabilities sooner.”
To that end, the Department of Defense has increased the number of engagements with industry, launched alternative contracting vehicles, and taken other steps to streamline innovation more effectively. Industry officials are often clamoring for that interaction, but some say the Pentagon’s efforts are beginning to bear fruit.
One area where those changes are most visible has been in the Army’s modernization of its battlefield network. David Huisenga, president and chief executive at Klas Telecom Government, said he has noticed a marked difference in the quality and quantity of engagements between industry and the Department of Defense.
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