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US eyes bigger role for allied contractors

The FY 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed by the US Congress could make it easier for some allied defence contractors to compete for US defence work. (Getty Images)

A provision in the newly enacted fiscal year (FY) 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) could make it easier for certain allied defence contractors to compete for US defence work, according to a Republican aide to the US Senate Armed Services Committee.

The provision, which originated in the Senate version of the NDAA, directs the US Department of Defense (DoD) to include defence contractors from Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom in industry days and requests for information (RFIs) “to the maximum extent practicable”.

DoD industry days have traditionally been “US-only as the default” and RFIs are typically the same, the aide told Janes . Even US subsidiaries of allied defence contractors might not have access to all of the information shared at industry days, according to a DoD spokesperson.

Expanding participation in the early stages of an acquisition programme or research and development effort is designed to increase the pool of potential suppliersto promote greater competition and improve the DoD's access to capabilities. The provision is also intended to enhance co-operation and interoperability with close allies and reduce reliance on Chinese and Russian suppliers.

Christyn Cianfarani, president and CEO of theCanadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI), welcomed the measure, saying it will further Canada's longtime contribution to US national security. “Any policy or legislative change that allows for a more integrated North American defence industrial base and more effective defence trade between the two countries is, from our perspective, a good thing,” she said.

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