December 13, 2013

Process Over Platforms

By Ben FitzGerald

Aaron Martin and I have a new paper out today: Process Over Platforms - A Paradigm Shift in Acquisition Through Advanced Manufacturing. We explore how linking additive manufacturing and robotic assembly with unmanned aircraft systems could radically alter the way in which we acquire combat aircraft and why this is important.

Here are some key takeaways if you don’t have time to read the paper in detail:

  • Whether you agree with this particular concept or not, new technologies will afford us the opportunity to alter how we acquire and employ military capability. How we build capability is probably going to be more important than what we build.
  • Capitalizing on these opportunities will require different methods of production but also new concepts of operation. Changing our thinking may be more difficult than changing the technology – it shouldn’t be.
  • Truly significant change will be achieved at the intersection of new ideas and multiple technologies.
  • National security professionals thinking about technology must consider how technology can be used to enable new concepts not just generate effects or improve the status quo by a few percentage points.

If you only look at one thing in the paper, it should be this infographic comparing acquisition of the F-4 and the F-22. We cannot continue down this path. Let us know what you think #processoverplatforms 

  • Commentary
    • Lawfare
    • March 18, 2020
    The Cyberspace Solarium Commission’s Mandate to Fix Congressional Oversight

    The report of the Cyberspace Solarium Commission is finally out—and it provides a fresh look at congressional oversight on cybersecurity. Congress established the commission a...

    By Carrie Cordero & David Thaw

  • Commentary
    • Lawfare
    • February 20, 2020
    Take Greenland Seriously and Literally as a Vital National Security Issue

    It is tempting to dismiss talk of Greenland’s significance for defense and foreign policy simply because President Trump infamously made it a punch line last year. The world’...

    By David Priess & Martijn Rasser

  • Podcast
    • January 17, 2020
    Stories from the Backchannel: Season Two Trailer

    Now more than ever, Americans are interested in the people working behind the scenes on consequential national security decisions. In Season Two of Stories from the Backchanne...

    By Ilan Goldenberg, Richard Fontaine, Susanna V. Blume, Kayla M. Williams, Price B. Floyd, Kurt Campbell & Kara Frederick

  • Podcast
    • September 10, 2019
    When your data is held hostage

    Technology and security expert Kara Frederick explains how and why U.S. local governments and electoral rolls are vulnerable to ransomware and what can be done about it. List...

    By Kara Frederick

View All Reports View All Articles & Multimedia