acquisition

Lockheed Martin's prototype Joint Light Tactical Vehicle (JLTV).

[CORRECTED data on competitor Oshkosh] LOCKHEED MARTIN “LIGHTHOUSE,” SUFFOLK, VA: “We’re in a really tough competition…a knife fight in [a] phone booth,” said Tom Kelly, who runs Lockheed Martin’s government relations for the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle program. In the defense contracting world writ large, Lockheed is the 800-pound gorilla. In the three-way competition to replace… Keep reading →

Reaping the Benefits of a Global Defense Industry

Greg Sanders CSIS photo

  As the Defense Department’s budget goes down, the number of contracts awarded without competitive bids is going up. The share of contracts awarded without competition has risen from 39 percent in 2009 to 42 percent in 2012, according to a report I co-authored with Jesse Ellman and Rhys McCormick on DoD Contracting Trends. The news for… Keep reading →

mv-22-sand

WASHINGTON: When Americans were threatened during the civil war in South Sudan, Marine Corps MV-22 Ospreys flew a Marine response force from Spain to Djibouti in a non-stop flight of 3,200 nautical miles – the distance from Alaska to Florida. That’s an extraordinary feat for an aircraft that can take off and land vertically like a helicopter. But… Keep reading →

cutting-dollar-red

[UPDATED with Congressional staffer comment] WASHINGTON: The Pentagon’s coy about the next iteration of its Better Buying Power initiative, but it’s clear that “BBP 3.0” is coming. We even have some hints of what will be in it: more encouragement for rapid prototyping and other forms of innovative acquisition to keep America’s technological edge, a… Keep reading →

The USS Essex (pictured) is the first Navy warship with a 3D printer.

WASHINGTON: The U.S. Navy has put a 3D printer on a warship for the first time. That’s a small revolution but don’t expect world-changing results any time soon. Just ask Lt. Benjamin Kohlmann, a fighter pilot and member of the Chief of Naval Operation’s Rapid Innovation Cell (CRIC), a handpicked handful of junior officers and… Keep reading →

US and Korean Marines staged traditional amphibious assaults like this in the Ssang Yong 2014 wargames -- but such massed attacks may be a thing of the past.

NATIONAL HARBOR: Cheap grey-market missiles and commercially available radar kits are forcing the Marines to reinvent amphibious warfare for the 21st century. The new Corps concept, Expeditionary Force 21, predicts long-range threats will force the fleet to stay at least 65 nautical miles offshore, a dozen times the distance that existing Marine amphibious vehicles are… Keep reading →

army-m113-in-vietnam-f5

On Monday, the top spokesman for General Dynamics Land Systems, Peter Keating, told me GDLS could not compete for the Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicle (APMV) program unless the Army changed how it ran the competition. Today, as even Keating expected, the Army officially denied the GDLS protest. Breaking Defense obtained a copy of the decision just… Keep reading →

House Armed Services Subcommittee hearing

PENTAGON: The Air Force has substantially driven down its acquisition costs for the second year in a row, doubling its success in cutting cost estimates from $7 billion last year to $13.4 billion this year. But not all is rosy in acquisition land. Schedule problems continue to mount, getting a “poor” rating from the service,… Keep reading →

Operational Readiness Inspection CORONET WHITE

  The military can move in mysterious ways, especially when it comes to the arcane and often-dysfunctional bureaucratics of buying gear. But in our combined 31 years of covering the Defense Department, we here at Breaking Defense had never seen this one before: a defense contractor getting busted for trying to sell the government its… Keep reading →

A working plane printed by graduate students at University of Virginia.

Additive manufacturing, known to the public as 3D printing, may profoundly improve combat readiness and the defense industrial base far more than imagined by most proponents. But the Pentagon must account for the way different organizations measure performance, or it will be doomed to long delays and costly failure. Additive manufacturing can be used to… Keep reading →

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