The Pentagon wanted to fund ambitious research into future tech breakthroughs but contractors spend most of their money on safer bets, GAO has found.
Two years after the Pentagon set out to spend billions on 10 breakthrough research and engineering efforts, defense contractors instead are putting most of their money in less ambitious research projects.
The development gap between the military and its suppliers troubled investigators at the Government Accountability Office, or GAO, who determined in a report released last Thursday that the Defense Department isn’t keeping good watch over those private efforts and doesn’t know how much of it would fit into the military’s tech goals.
The Pentagon’s undersecretary for research and engineering in 2018 laid out several big idea research areas that would be most relevant to maintaining an edge on China or Russia. Many are in the very early stages of maturation; the biggest breakthroughs are expected in the second half of the coming decade.