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 

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