Digital Engineering Could Speed Wartime Arms Production – By Marcus Weisgerber (Nextgov) / June 9 2021
It could also allow contractors to build and modernize weapons they did not create.
The U.S. Air Force’s push to have weapons designed entirely digitally could accelerate manufacturing during a war, in part by making it easier for different contractors to do production and upgrade work, according to a top general.
The effort elicits memories of World War II, when the United States relied on American automakers to build heavy bombers and tanks. While that’s not imminent, Air Force officials hope the push to all-digital weapon design and manufacturing will allow them to quickly update new weapons and keep companies competing for modernization work through a weapon’s time in the arsenal.
“I want to get the technical part to the point that if we need to make a change and need to go another way to get a component in, or something else, that we can do that,” Gen. Arnold Bunch, the head of Air Force Materiel Command, said Friday during a virtual Defense Writers Group meeting. “That is part of what we’re trying to do is keep competition and get to the point that we can move at the speed of relevance.”