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19 Feb 21. President Biden Tells World: ‘America Is Back.’ The United States is back and ready to work with like-minded nations to find solutions to the world’s pressing problems, President Joe Biden told the Munich Security Conference today.
The virtual conference is the clearest take yet that the United States is abandoning the America First program to work with allies and partners around the world.
Biden is no stranger to the Munich forum. He has attended and spoken to the group as senator, vice president, and in 2019, as a private citizen. “I speak today as president of the United States at the very start of my administration, and I’m sending a clear message to the world: America is back; the trans-Atlantic alliance is back. And we are not looking backward. We are looking forward together,” he said.
Over the past four years, the challenges the world faces have shifted, the president said. “We’re at an inflection point,” he said. “The global dynamics have shifted. New crises demand our attention. We cannot focus only on the competition among countries that threatened to divide the world or only on global challenges [that] have threatened to sink us all together if we fail to cooperate. We must do both, working in lockstep with our allies and partners.”
Biden bluntly and clearly sought to assuage any doubts allies and partners may have about U.S. policies moving forward. “The United States will work closely with our European Union partners and the capitals across the continent — from Rome to Riga — to meet the range of shared challenges we face,” he said. “We continue to support the goal of a Europe whole and free and at peace. The United States is fully committed to our NATO alliance. And I welcome Europe’s growing investment in the military capabilities that enable our shared defense.”
He called America’s commitment to Article 5 of the Washington Treaty that established NATO an “unshakable vow” that an attack on one ally is an attack on all.
He also said the United States will consult closely and often with allies and partners in other parts of the world on regional and global problems.
Afghanistan is an example of that, and the United States and allied nations will work together to ensure Afghanistan never again provides a base for terrorist attacks against the United States, its allies and interests.
“Our European partners have also stood with us to counter ISIS,” he said. “Just this week, NATO defense ministers endorsed significant, expanded training and advisory mission in Iraq, which will be vital to the ongoing fight against ISIS.”
The United States has launched a global posture review of the U.S. military. “While the United States is undergoing a thorough review of our own force posture around the world, I’ve ordered the halting of withdrawal of American troops from Germany,” Biden said. “I’m also lifting a cap imposed by the previous administration on the number of U.S. forces able to be based in Germany.”
The United States must “earn back” the trust it lost over the past four years, the president said. “The United States must renew America’s enduring advantages, so that we can meet today’s challenges from a position of strength,” he said. “That means building back better our economic foundations; reclaiming our place in international institutions; lifting up our values at home and speaking out to defend them around the world; modernizing our military capabilities while leading with diplomacy; revitalizing America’s network of alliances and partnerships that have made the world safer for all people.” (Source: US DoD)
19 Feb 21. DoD Budget ‘Bloodletting’ Inches Closer To Reality. The Pentagon is at an “inflection point” in terms of how to split the military budget between the services, Rep. Joe Courtney said, a growing recognition that the budget calculus is about to change.
The head of the House Armed Services influential seapower subcommittee just stepped closer to the position of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs that the Navy might be in line for a funding boost — and other services will have to pay the bill.
The Pentagon is at an “inflection point” in terms of how to split the military budget between the services, Rep. Joe Courtney said, suggesting that when the 2022 budget is delivered later this spring a big strategic question will be “whether or not, frankly, naval and air and cyber are going to take a larger portion of the pie…that conversation has to happen.”
The issue of changing the traditional one-third of the budget allocation each going to the Army, Air Force and Navy has been increasingly front-of-mind in Washington, particularly after Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley last year predicted a “bloodletting” at DoD when the expected changes are debated.
Milley — an Army general — supports shifting money to the Navy, and has said the Army will have to lose budget to get the ships, submarines, and unmanned vessels the sea service says it needs, along with much-needed repairs to shipyards in the coming years.
“I think that the past view of a share of any budget needs to go away entirely,” Elaine McCusker, a former DoD comptroller said recently, suggesting that service needs should outweigh any attempts at policing equal shares.
Handing more money to the Navy isn’t an end in itself. The service has failed time and again to accurately estimate how much new ships will cost and how long they’ll take to build. The first Ford-class aircraft carrier, which cost $13.3bn to construct, was commissioned in 2017 but has yet to deploy, and instead has been slowly fixing a long list of problems ever since.
A longer-term issue has been the Littoral Combat Ship, a headache for the service for a decade due to its delayed schedule, cost overruns and lack of deployability.
Last month, the Navy said it would stop taking delivery of the Freedom-class version of the ship, after continued issues with its propulsion system forced the USS Detroit to limp into port.
The delay likely won’t have much of an effect on the Navy’s operations, since the 20 Littoral Combat Ships currently in the fleet have only made a handful of deployments over the past decade, a far cry from earlier plans to have the ships on near constant deployments doing everything from mine hunting to presence operations, lightening the load of the destroyer fleet.
Courtney, speaking at a virtual Hudson Institute event, called LCS the “poster child of procurements that just really kind of got lost in terms of what was the mission and then obviously we’re having these persistent problems.”
The lawmaker said he wants to use those failures as a warning while Congress works through how to fund the Navy’s ambitious plans for a fleet of several hundred unmanned ships. The issues with the LCS and Ford were that little to no testing of the new technologies installed on the ships was done on land before jamming them into place. That failure to plan and test has led to years of frustration and delay the Navy can little afford as existing ships and their crews are being strained by longer deployments. (Those who’ve watched the F-35 saga are painfully familiar with this matrix of problems.)
“I do think that we want to see more in terms of the prototyping and testing,” Courtney said about the unmanned plans. “You know we just did not want to go rushing headlong into starting a shipbuilding program of larger [unmanned] vessels, because as we all know, turning those off is not easy.”
In the 2021 budget Congress made sure the Navy has to take more time in designing and testing its proposed new unmanned ships before the money spigot gets turned on. “Frankly,” Courtney said, “there’s still some, I think, legitimate questions that need to get flushed out and can be fleshed out by using land-based testing systems, and really thinking about what exactly do we want these vessels to do.”
Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Mike Gilday told me earlier this month he’s keeping the LCS failures in mind when working on new unmanned ship designs, and has charted a course for one or two engineering designs for different classes and sizes of ships, since trying to support two completely different engineering designs for the LCS has been challenging. (Source: glstrade.com/Breaking Defense.com)
19 Feb 21. Viewpoint: Changing Acquisitions with Advanced Manufacturing. In 2019, the secretary of the Army released a memorandum with the subject line “Army Advanced Manufacturing Directive of 2019-29: Enabling Readiness and Modernization through Advanced Manufacturing.” The directive “establishes policy and assigns responsibilities for the employment of advanced manufacturing methods and materials in all capability areas.”
It is apparent that the genesis of this directive stems from the realization that industry is evolving into the “digital era” of manufacturing. Digitization is the prime mover of advanced manufacturing, and data the fuel for its models, code and automata.
One of the most prominent areas readily associated with this promising manufacturing revolution is additive manufacturing, colloquially known as “3D printing.” Despite its ubiquitous presence within the dictates of the Army directive, the use of additive manufacturing remains a conundrum for our acquisition personnel. The pressing question continues to be: when exactly is it appropriate and sensible to implement additive manufacturing in lieu of traditional manufacturing processes already in place?
Presently, on the surface, additively manufactured solutions and their usage seem destined to remain in the realm of prototyping. Their functional uses are often deemed unproven and cost prohibitive. However, to alleviate natural hesitancies with the unknown and subpar economic returns, the Army directive provides a jump-off point to propel its manufacturing into the future by taking a disciplined approach to selecting and designing parts for additive manufacturing.
The Army approach recognizes and affords the latitude to take its cues from industry and implement a multi-staged business case analysis for part selection. The essentials of the analysis may be comprised of four main areas that collectively address the benefits to the part, materiel system, and manufacturing process. These areas are strategic/performance drivers, technical considerations, activity-based cost assessments, and scheduling considerations.
The first step to any successful implementation of additive manufacturing lies with evaluating influential performance factors or strategic drivers. It is imperative that acquisition professionals resist the temptation to plug additive manufacturing machines into their existing manufacturing processes if they hope to reap all the potential benefits of the new technologies. The Advanced Manufacturing Directive of 2019-29 aids in pointing the acquisition professionals in the right direction by encouraging them to consider the potential improvements in their ability to design, produce, deliver and sustain materiel capabilities.
It is prudent for any industrial manufacturer contributing products to their supply chain as the Army considers theirs, to realize the benefits of product improvements by re-thinking and re-designing with additive manufacturing in mind.
Questions should be: “Have we optimized our design and accounted for the freedom of increased geometric complexity that additive manufacturing provides?”
“Are we considering advanced materials, or are we simply 3D printing with traditional materials for which we already have a traditional source available?” Alternatively, “are we additively manufacturing parts for manufacturing lines that have become obsolete or whose supply line has dramatically decreased?”
Program managers must first adopt — and engineering support staff must encourage — this type of thinking before the technical, cost and scheduling aspects of additive manufacturing are even considered or evaluated.
Once the acquisition community deems that additive manufacturing can provide a strategic benefit to the part design or the supply chain, they should juxtapose its assessment with a more traditional manufacturing process. These comparative assessments will incorporate technical analyses, cost evaluations and scheduling estimates.
The technical analyses must make considerations for both the additive manufacturing process and the additively manufactured end item, as they do for the traditional sources. Cost evaluations will bifurcate into direct and indirect breakdowns — with additive manufacturing-specific distinctions incorporated.
And, finally, scheduling estimates must account for supply chain variations due to the impact of additive manufacturing on sourcing, manufacturing, shipping and receiving — such as just-in-time manufacturing — and distribution.
These three stages of evaluation will provide program managers with a complete and nuanced view of the role of additive manufacturing in shifting the engineering and business landscape toward advanced manufacturing.
Additive manufacturing is not the sole panacea for production, but it does have the ability to change the way many items are “designed, made, bought and delivered.”
Without this realization, a commensurate strategic approach and a nuanced view of the impact of additive manufacturing on the current engineering and business landscape, organizations will never realize the full benefits of this technology. (Source: glstrade.com/National Defense)
19 Feb 21. U.S. defense secretary calls Saudi crown prince, reaffirms strategic ties. U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, state media said on Friday, days after the White House said it would deal with the king, not his heir, and U.S. officials would engage their counterparties in the kingdom.
Crown Prince Mohammed, who is also Saudi Defence Minister, reviewed bilateral relations with Austin, especially in defence cooperation, state news agency SPA said.
Austin reaffirmed the importance of the strategic defence partnership between the two countries, and said the United States was committed to helping Riyadh defend itself, condemning attacks launched into the kingdom by the Houthi group in Yemen.
Austin said in a statement he had a productive call.
“We discussed the continued commitment to the 70 year US-Saudi security partnership, and I’m looking forward to working together to achieve regional security & stability,” he said.
U.S. President Joe Biden said this week he plans to recalibrate U.S. relations with Saudi Arabia and will conduct diplomacy through Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz rather than his powerful son the crown prince, widely referred to as MbS.
Biden is returning to “counterpart to counterpart” engagement, the White House said.
Saudi has led a military coalition fighting the Iran-aligned Houthi movement in Yemen since early 2015.
Austin thanked MbS for Saudi efforts towards a political solution in Yemen and said the two countries had a shared commitment to confronting the threat posed by the Iranian leadership in the region, the SPA report of the meeting said.
MbS is considered by many to be the kingdom’s de facto leader and is next in line to the throne held by 85-year-old King Salman. MbS’s prestige suffered a blow after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 at the hands of Saudi security personnel seen as close to the crown prince.
Former U.S. President Donald Trump maintained steady contact with the crown prince through his son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner. (Source: Reuters)
18 Feb 21. Government, industry & academia partner to form Defense Electronics Consortium.
DoD awards $42m for consortium to identify, address risks in electronics industry.
The U.S. Partnership for Assured Electronics (UPSAE) and Advanced Technology International (ATI) are proud to announce the creation of the Defense Electronics Consortium (DEC). This consortium is a collaboration of the country’s leading industry and academia experts to help the government identify challenges, needs and opportunities in defense electronics, which has been impacted by the contraction of U.S. electronics manufacturing and other factors.
USPAE received a $42 million award from the Department of Defense (DoD), which will be distributed over a period of five to seven years. The “Lead (Pb)-Free Defense Electronics Project” is the consortium’s first initiative funded by Congress through the 2020 National Defense Authorization Act. While lead alloys are recognized as reliable, commercial electronics manufacturers have shifted to using lead-free technology because of lead’s detrimental health and environmental effects. This has created concerns related to supply and access to new technologies. Academia, in particular, will play a vital role in this project. Purdue University, the University of Maryland, Auburn University and Binghamton University are all lending their resources and expertise.
Enter the DEC, which was formed to tackle this initiative and other projects that strengthen the economic and force posture of the U.S. defense electronics base. The U.S. share of global production of printed circuit boards has decreased from about 30 percent in the 1990s to less than five percent today. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic exposed the extent to which the U.S. has outsourced the manufacturing of vital medical equipment with electronic components, raising concerns within the DoD about its reliance on foreign components.
The DEC is an Other Transaction Agreement (OTA)-based collaboration. The flexibility of an OTA allows for various types of projects to be funded within the consortium. The DoD is able to contract with trusted partners in industry and academia, including small and medium-sized innovators that typically do not do business with the federal government. By bringing in these non-traditional organizations, OTAs help government acquire disruptive technologies in a streamlined manner.
Consortia, such as the DEC, are partnerships built on open communication between government and industry. The government is able to communicate its challenges, and industry can leverage its innovative technologies to work together to solve these challenges.
USPAE selected ATI, the leader in R&D collaboration management, to be its partner in management of the DEC. The two nonprofits are an ideal match for this endeavor. USPAE is dedicated to ensuring the U.S. government has access to resilient and trusted electronics supply chains. The nonprofit industry association is responsible for overall DEC strategy, governance and member recruitment. ATI, the leader in R&D collaboration management, is tasked with DEC member engagement, financial controls and administrative services.
“ATI was instrumental to our success in receiving this award,” said Chris Peters, Executive Director of USPAE. “The team is professional, responsive and very knowledgeable – they’re really outstanding partners in this effort.”
“We’re so proud to form the Defense Electronics Consortium with our friends and partners at USPAE, who share our vision of achieving innovation through collaboration,” said Chris Van Metre, CEO and President of ATI. “The collective DEC team has the deep industry knowledge, innovative research capabilities and leading-edge facilities required to strengthen the U.S. defense electronics base.”
The U.S. Partnership for Assured Electronics (USPAE) helps ensure the U.S. government has access to resilient and trusted electronics supply chains. As a trusted third-party, USPAE orchestrates interactions between the U.S. government and leaders in the electronics industry and academia. It facilitates collaboration on electronics innovations, helps solve government challenges, and accelerates the adoption of new technologies.
ATI, a nonprofit based in Summerville, S.C., builds and manages collaborations that conduct research and development of new technologies to solve our nation’s most pressing challenges. Fueled by a community of experts from industry, academia, and government, ATI uses the power of collaboration to help the federal government quickly acquire next-generation technologies. ATI manages Other Transaction Authority (OTA)-based and Federal Acquisitions Regulations (FAR)-based collaborations, many of which for the Department of Defense. (Source: PR Newswire)
18 Feb 21. The USAF is interested in buying a budget-conscious, clean sheet fighter to replace the F-16. The Air Force could be in the market for a brand-new, advanced fourth generation fighter as it looks to replace its oldest F-16s, the service’s top general said Wednesday.
The Air Force has started a study that will describe its preferred mix of fighters and other tactical aircraft that will be used to help build the fiscal year 2023 budget. That result could include a brand new “four-and-a half or fifth-gen minus” fighter with capabilities that fall somewhere in between the 1970s era F-16 and stealthy fifth-generation fighters like the F-22 and F-35 joint strike fighter, said Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles “CQ” Brown.
“If we have the capability to do something even more capable for cheaper and faster, why not? Let’s not just buy off the shelf, let’s actually take a look at something else out there that we can build,” Brown told reporters during a Defense Writers Group roundtable.
Brown’s comments are the first time an Air Force official has spoken about introducing another fourth generation aircraft into the service’s fighter inventory. In January, former Air Force acquisition chief Will Roper disclosed that the service’s ongoing study will also weigh whether to buy new-build F-16s from Lockheed Martin.
“As you look at the new F-16 production line in South Carolina, that system has some wonderful upgraded capabilities that are worth thinking about as part of our capacity solution,” Roper told Aviation Week.
But Brown said he is still yet to be convinced that the F-16 is the right option.
“I don’t know that it actually would be the F-16. Actually, I want to be able to build something new and different that’s not the F-16 — that has some of those capabilities, but gets there faster and features a digital approach,” he said. “I realize that folks have alluded that it will be a particular airplane. But I’m open to looking at other platforms to see what that right force mix is.”
So what capabilities would this new clean sheet aircraft have?
At the top of the list, Brown said, is an open mission systems with a computing system powerful enough that software code can be updated very quickly.
Brown also pointed to the approach the Air Force has taken with Boeing’s T-7A Red Hawk trainer and its secretive future fighter, known as Next Generation Air Dominance. Both aircraft have been designed using digital engineering practices, which have allowed the service to model the lifecycle of various designs and rapidly get full-scale demonstrators ready for flight tests.
“And so the question is, what is the son of NGAD?” he said.
The ongoing study will include modeling, simulation and analysis aimed at nailing down the right mix of aircraft, what capabilities they each have and how many of each type are needed in order to ensure the Air Force can be successful in future conflicts.
Although the Air Force is currently conducting the study without input from outside organizations, Brown said he would like to involve the Pentagon’s Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation office, an influential organization inside the Office of the Secretary of Defense that often pushes against service budget decisions and advocates lower-cost solutions.
“I can make a recommendation, but I don’t actually have the final vote because, again, I have to work with OSD and with the Congress. But that’s why the analysis to me is important and a dialogue is important,” he said.
Investing in another fighter type could be a hard sell for the Air Force to make to Congress, particularly with several fighters already in production.
The Air Force has not officially deviated from plans to buy 1,763 F-35A conventional takeoff and landing jets from Lockheed over its program of record, although internal documents from the Air Force’s future warfighting cell have indicated a plan to curb orders at 1,050 jets, Aviation Week reported in December.
Last year, the service placed its first order for Boeing F-15EX jets to replacing aging F-15C/Ds, and could buy more than 144 of the new planes. The first F-15EX completed its inaugural flight earlier this month.
Meanwhile, Lockheed’s F-16 line has pivoted to international sales since its move to Greenville, South Carolina, in 2019. (Source: Defense News)
16 Feb 21. An engine shortage is the newest problem to hit the F-35 enterprise. The F-35 joint strike fighter program is grappling with a shortage of the jet’s Pratt & Whitney F135 engine, and it could be months before the situation starts to improve, a defense official said Friday.
The problem, according to the F-35 joint program office, is twofold. First, the F135 Heavy Maintenance Center at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla., has not been able to process engines through scheduled depot maintenance as quickly as projected.
Second, maintainers are discovering “premature distress of rotor blade coatings” in a “small number” of engine power modules, creating more repair work and contributing to the backlog.
A defense official who spoke to Defense News on background called the issues a “serious readiness problem.” By 2022, roughly 5 to 6 percent of the F-35 fleet could be without engines due to scheduled depot maintenance as well as unscheduled engine removals caused by F135s in need of repair.
Leaders hope that corrective actions will keep the program from exceeding that threshold, but the defense official confirmed that as many as 20 percent of F-35s could be impacted by the engine shortage if those fixes do not work and no further action is taken.
In January, Ellen Lord — then the Pentagon’s top acquisition official — told reporters that the engine problems were one of the main maintenance issues found to degrade F-35 mission capable rates, which sat at 69 percent last month.
As a result of the engine problems, the Air Force has cut eight performances from the F-35 demonstration team’s 2021 schedule so as not to add onto the existing maintenance backlog, Bloomberg reported on Feb. 10.
According to the F-35 program office, the Defense Department first noticed signs of the engine shortage issue in early 2020. At the end of the summer, the department received an update that made clear that the F135 depot would not be able to process 60 engine power modules a year, as was previously expected, the defense official said.
Myriad factors contributed to the slowdown, including “an increase in the work scope that they were seeing within as they tore down the engine, the unavailability of tech data, some of the engineering disposition wait time, the lack of available support equipment and …depot workforce proficiency,” the official said.
This was coupled with a “higher preponderance” of degradation to the heat protective coating applied to the blades of the F135 power module.
In order to tackle the maintenance backlog, the Air Force is adding a second shift at the F135 Heavy Maintenance Center, which should be up and running by June, the official said.
The F-35 program office has already contracted with Pratt & Whitney for additional power module repair support, and its working with the contractor to obtain more training, support equipment and technical data.
“What we want to shoot for is it turning out power modules at about 122 days. We’re a little over 200 days today,” the official said.
Pratt & Whitney, a subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies, also introduced a hardware modification to engine blades in spring 2020 that is being incorporated in the production line and in engines going through sustainment, the company said in a statement.
“We continue to work closely with the F-35 Joint Program Office, the services, and the Oklahoma City-Air Logistics Complex to increase enterprise capacity across the F135 Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul & Upgrade network,” the company said. “P&W also recognizes the inherent challenges that the F135 program’s sustainment strategy is presenting, and continues to collaborate with the JPO and services to align on solutions to meet their needs.”
The Air Force is hosting a Feb. 17 summit at Tinker AFB where F-35 commanders will be able to discuss the program, including whether further short-term steps should be taken to ameliorate the F135 power module problem, but the defense official declined to detail what additional actions are possible.
At the very least, good news is on the horizon for solving ongoing issues with F-35 canopies, a separate problem that Lord cited as another major driver of unscheduled maintenance.
In 2019, the F-35 joint program office told Defense News that the problem revolves around transparency delamination, when the coatings of the canopy begin to peel from the base. When the issue occurs, the aircraft are temporarily taken out of service until its canopy is replaced.
However, GKN Aerospace — which produces canopy transparencies for all F-35 variants — was struggling to produce enough canopies to meet demand, leaving dozens of aircraft on the flight line awaiting replacements.
According to the defense official, there may be some relief to that problem in the near future. The program office recently added a second canopy manufacturer to the F-35′s supply chain: PPG Aerospace, which will begin producing F-35 canopy transparencies in May. (Source: Defense News Early Bird/Defense News)
18 Feb 21. London Calling for Military Tech Cooperation. With extra money in its coffers for modernization, the U.K. Ministry of Defence is looking for additional opportunities to work with the United States on high-tech military capabilities.
The British government in November announced that it had approved about $22bn in additional defense spending over the next four years, including a major plus-up for research and development.
“It will represent an increase of around 10 percent in defense spending as a whole,” Karen Pierce, the British ambassador to the United States, said during a discussion hosted by the Washington-based Center for a New American Security. “It’s about strengthening NATO, but it’s also about taking us into these new areas of defense, these new areas of weaponry and technology like AI, like quantum, like cyber and … space, where we are going to have to do a lot more thinking in the years to come.”
Angus Lapsley, director general for strategy and international at the MoD, called the plus-up — the largest in decades — an “historic” reinvestment in military capabilities. The move is being driven by the evolving threat environment, a desire to demonstrate Britain’s international commitment post-Brexit, and changes in technology, he noted.
The defense community has reached a technological “pivot point,” according to Lapsley.
Digital tech is transforming the way in which conventional platforms can be used, he noted. Meanwhile, opportunities for new weapon systems such as directed energy and hypersonics are emerging.
“We reached the conclusion that we have to speed up if we were going to remain competitive in some of these areas,” he said. “One of the big features of the budget that we’ve announced is that there’s a lot of extra money for research and development. … We felt that what we spend on science and R&D needed to increase quite substantially to give us a chance of addressing these new technological challenges with the best possible edge.”
Pursuing these new capabilities will mean working with the United States in some areas. The MoD and the Pentagon have a next-generation weapons program underway looking at how the U.S. and the U.K. can support each other in technology development, he noted.
Some of the focus areas for the initiative include hypersonics, directed energy, command-and-control, and anti-submarine warfare.
In October, U.S. and British naval leaders during the Atlantic Future Forum announced the opening of a new international “tech bridge” in London that will initially focus on artificial intelligence, autonomy and unmanned systems, biotechnology, space and directed energy.
Meanwhile, the British government plans to release a new defense and security industrial strategy in early 2021, around the same time that it releases more details about its military spending plans.
“One of the things which is driving it is that kind of recognition that the international defense industry is changing quite fast. There are many new players in it and there are some serious opportunities,” Lapsley said.
One of the expected conclusions of the policy review is that a key strength of the U.K.’s defense industrial base is its international nature, he noted.
U.S. companies like Lockheed Martin, Boeing and General Dynamics all have a significant presence in the United Kingdom, as do European firms such as Leonardo, Thales and Airbus.
“As long as European or American companies are working with us and … generating IP and investment in the U.K., that’s a good thing for the U.K. industry,” Lapsley said.
Lapsley added that the United Kingdom would like U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulations to be less protectionist.
“There are still some aspects of the U.S. ITAR regime which … sometimes act as a pretty big disincentive to allies to work with America and share our technology with you,” he said.
“Also, we’re very keen that Congress doesn’t go down the road of … [legislating more] Buy America provisions that make America a closed market for participation and cooperation with European and British companies,” he added. (Source: glstrade.com/National Defense)
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