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Pentagon: American arms industry struggles to keep pace with China


The document, dated November 27, adds that “just as importantly, traditional defense contractors in the (defense industrial base) would be challenged to respond to modern conflicts with the speed, scale and flexibility necessary to meet the dynamic demands of a country. major modern conflict.

He notes that America makes the best weapons in the world, but it can’t produce them fast enough.

“This disconnect presents growing strategic risk as the United States faces the imperatives of supporting active combat operations… while deterring the larger, more technically advanced threat looming in the Indo-Pacific,” it said. ‘study.

Speaking at the Reagan National Defense Forum, LaPlante said the strategy would be executed in a “partnership” with industry. For companies to increase their production capacity, they need the DOD to be clear about its future purchasing needs in order to invest in new factories and R&D.

“First, we governments need to show that we are determined, and we are going to do this in a sustainable way by securing funding,” he said. “We need to discuss together what you are going to invest in (construction) and what the government is then going to invest in.”

LaPlante said the Pentagon also needs to show it is “serious” about purchasing the prototype weapons it is developing in large numbers.

“We have to show that we’re going to move into production and we’re going to stick with it to make it worth it,” he said.

Some who have seen the draft report are frustrated by what they perceive as a lack of concrete recommendations.

A defense industry adviser called it “disappointing,” saying it does not focus on long-term solutions to the supply chain problems that have plagued the defense industry.

The report notes that after the Cold War, the defense industry shrank as companies merged. Yet China has spent the last 30 years becoming a “global industrial power” in shipbuilding, critical minerals and microelectronics. China’s industry “far exceeds the capacity of not only the United States, but also the combined production of our key European and Asian allies,” it says.

The report also highlights that the Covid pandemic has exposed supply chain vulnerabilities. Then Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and Hamas’ attack on Israel “revealed a different set of industrial demands and corresponding risks” as the United States rushes to produce weapons to support the Ukraine and Israel.

“It has become clear that insufficient production and supply capacity is now a deeply rooted problem at all levels of production supply chains,” the report said.

To address the problem, the strategy says DOD will “develop more resilient and innovative supply chains,” invest in small businesses and increase its focus on innovation.

The United States must also recognize that not all the answers are available at home. “We must solicit entrants of all types: large and small, domestic and foreign, and those with no prior ties to DoD or defense production,” the report said.

“The nation must rally around common defense,” the report concludes. “This NDIS is a call to the public and private sectors to make focused and dedicated efforts to build and secure the industrial capacity and capability needed to ensure our military has the materiel available to deter our potential adversaries and, if necessary, defeat them in combat. . This call to action may seem costly, but the consequences of inaction or failure are far more serious. »



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