As demand for arms booms, lack of modernization stymies weapons production (Defense One)

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    As demand for arms booms, lack of modernization stymies weapons production – By Sam Skove (Defense One) / Oct 25, 2023

    Some small firms at the heart of the defense industry see little benefit to automation and digitization.

    U.S. officials are desperate to find ways to crank up weapons production amid wars in Ukraine and the Middle East, and growing tensions with China.

    “The task before us is really critical,” said Laura D. Taylor-Kale, assistant secretary of defense for industrial base policy, who last week announced the government is working on a first-ever national defense industrial strategy, meant to “catalyze a generational change.”

    However, deep within defense firms’ logistic chains lurks a hidden problem. Some smaller firms, as well as government-owned production facilities, are using a range of outdated equipment—from fax machines to 1980s era software—according to MxD, a Defense-Department funded institute charged with increasing digitization in the defense industrial base.

    Lower-tier manufacturers are layered throughout the weapons production process, even if the branding on the end-product bears the name of a well-known, multi-billion dollar company. Boeing relies on 55,737 suppliers, Lockheed on 17,722 suppliers, and General Dynamics on 17,701 suppliers, according to an investigation by the Financial Times.

    CONTINUE > https://www.defenseone.com/business/2023/10/demand-arms-booms-lack-modernization-stymies-weapons-production/391533/

     

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