WASHINGTON: “If we’re going to fix it, we’re going to have to take some risks.”

That’s the core of Norman Augustine’s vision for Pentagon acquisition reform: He who dares may not always win, but he who doesn’t dare never will. The military’s system for buying weapons is so afraid of failure, the legendary former Lockheed chairman told Breaking Defense on Friday, that it makes even its successes needlessly expensive and painfully slow. Keep reading →

PENTAGON: Unhappy with the Air Force’s handling of the long-simmering problems with the oxygen system on the most expensive fighter plane in history, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta ordered restrictions on F-22 flights and told the Air Force to speed up its efforts to prevent Raptor pilots from experiencing life-threatening hypoxia in flight.

It certainly looks as if the two fighter jocks who risked their careers by airing their concerns about the safety of the Air Force’s prized F-22 super fighter on 60 Minutes got Panetta’s attention. 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 →

WASHINGTON: Defense lawmakers blessed the Navy’s plans to begin a new multiyear plan to bolster its fleet of MH-60 combat helicopters, according to legislation passed this week.

Earlier this week, lawmakers approved two new multiyear procurement plans pitched by the Navy as part of the final version of the fiscal 2012 defense authorization bill. The legislation was delivered to the White House this week after the House and Senate signed off on the defense policy package. President Obama has yet to sign the bill into law. Keep reading →