The Pentagon wants industry to transform again to meet demand. Can it? (Federal Times)

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    The Pentagon wants industry to transform again to meet demand. Can it? – By Noah Robertson (Federal Times) / Feb 20, 2024

    WASHINGTON — About two dozen leaders from the defense industry joined the secretary of defense for dinner in fall 1993. After the meal, later known as “the Last Supper,” came a half-hour briefing.

    The topic was consolidation. The Cold War was over, which meant America would spend less on defense. That also meant less money for the companies in the room. Officials flashed a black-and-white graph onto the wall, showing a plunge in how many contractors the Pentagon could afford. Companies would likely need to merge if they wanted to survive.

    Norm Augustine — then-chief executive of Martin Marietta, which itself merged in 1995 to become Lockheed Martin — had been there, sitting beside the defense secretary. A day later, he returned to the Pentagon and grabbed a copy of that chart, expecting it to be a historic document. He still has it today.

    Within a decade, the number of large prime contractors plummeted from 51 to five, creating the modern defense industry. Lockheed merged with Martin. Boeing merged with McDonnell Douglas.

    CONTINUE > https://www.federaltimes.com/industry/2024/02/20/the-pentagon-wants-industry-to-transform-again-to-meet-demand-can-it/

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