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DOD acquisition official under...


DOD acquisition official underscored importance of production in keeping U.S. Edge

DOD acquisition official U.S. Edge
The Silicon Review
12 March, 2024

The Pentagon's top acquisition official underscored the importance of the defense industry's ability to produce new capabilities

William A. LaPlante, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, emphasized the necessity of readiness to address swiftly evolving threats while acknowledging the importance of anticipating future requirements. Speaking at the McAleese Defense Programs Conference in Washington, LaPlante underscored the imperative for defense leaders and industry to remain agile in response to rapid technological advancements that can potentially alter the strategic landscape overnight. Addressing the annual conference, which provides a platform for discussions on defense priorities among defense officials, members of Congress, and industry stakeholders, LaPlante highlighted the dynamic nature of emerging technologies, particularly in countering unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

He noted the challenge posed by adversaries deploying UAS platforms quickly, often with low-tech solutions that demand constant adaptation of defense systems. Acknowledging the evolving national security environment and the pacing challenge posed by China, LaPlante urged a pivot away from manufacturing approaches lacking in buffer capacity against potential needs. He emphasized the importance of maintaining a steady demand signal from the Defense Department and fostering collaboration between government and industry to meet future demands effectively. LaPlante called upon industry stakeholders to contribute to this effort, highlighting the scrutiny of adversaries monitoring the speed and efficacy of the Pentagon's and industry's response to emerging challenges. He emphasized the mutual observation between adversaries and the need for a cohesive approach between government and industry to ensure readiness and responsiveness to evolving threats.