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Military Capabilities

US Air Force boosting small business contracting to increase innovation

20 March 2019
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Key Points

  • The US Air Force is emphasising more small business contracting
  • The service wants more cutting-edge technologies to start in the USAF

The US Air Force (USAF) is increasing its small business contracting to spur innovation and get cutting-edge technologies to the field faster.

The service especially wants to drive innovation in the space sector. Will Roper, the USAF assistant secretary for acquisition, technology, and logistics (AT&L) said on 20 March that the air force is not competing for the best space ideas in an accelerating technology ecosystem because of long contracting timelines. The Pentagon awarding a contract in a few months is considered fast, but for startups, he said, a few months is an eternity.

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