NATIONAL HARBOR: It’s easy to call for innovation. It’s hard to do. At this week’s Sea-Air-Space conference here, just 10 miles down the Potomac from the Pentagon, admirals and junior officers alike wrestled with the right balance between speed and safety, between it taking hours to 3-D print a new design and many months to certify it, between the dueling imperatives of Moore’s Law and “first do no harm.”
“There’s 85 percent that probably needs to be done the way we’re doing it; 15 percent that needs to move with that speed,” said Vice Adm. William Hilarides, chief of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), after an audience member urged him to “throw a frag grenade” into the current procurement system. “We definitely need a system where innovation can play inside that.”
I think most of the ills of the acquisition system are at the DoD level, personally.
Having said that, the Navy hasn’t exactly covered itself in glory in its shipbuilding over the last 10 or 15 years.