Update: Roper warns of nationalisation of a US aircraft manufacturer if no change in acquisition strategy

by Pat Host

The Pentagon could eventually nationalise a United States aircraft manufacturer if it does not improve how it acquires weapon systems, according to the US Air Force’s (USAF’s) top acquisition official.

Will Roper, assistant secretary for acquisition, technology, and logistics (AT&L), told reporters on 14 July that the US defence industrial base continues to shrink because there are too few major acquisition programmes. Contractors, he said, require diversified portfolios – ranging from fighters to satellites and helicopters – to remain a long-term partner with the Pentagon.

The US Air Force’s top acquisition official warned that the Pentagon may nationalise a major aircraft manufacturer if it does not improve how it acquires major platforms. (Getty Images)

The US Air Force’s top acquisition official warned that the Pentagon may nationalise a major aircraft manufacturer if it does not improve how it acquires major platforms. (Getty Images)

This is one reason why Roper has put a lot of effort into working with non-traditional defence companies through AFVentures. This programme serves as an opportunity for commercial companies and private capital investment to work with the USAF.

“[If] we do not bring new companies into our orbit … I do not have to tell you that eventually we will nationalise warfighting capabilities in the defence industrial base,” Roper said. “It will happen … by national security necessity.”

Roper created the Digital Century Series (DCS) because the Pentagon has too few major acquisition programmes to sustain a robust industrial base. The DCS aims to use digital engineering, modular open systems architecture, and agile software development to design advanced aircraft faster and enter production with a significantly lower learning curve.

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news-detail/update-roper-warns-of-nationalisation-of-a-us-aircraft-manufacturer-if-no-change-in-acquisition-strategy

The Pentagon could eventually nationalise a United States aircraft manufacturer if it does not impro...

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