The world today is markedly different from what it was during the Cold War. This new environment calls for new ways of conducting the business of defense. The Administration's initiatives in acquisition reform, dual-use technologies, and Advanced Concept Technology Demonstrations characterize our determined response to today's challenges. Sustained and effectively implemented, these new approaches will help get the highest return on defense investments in the future.
Over the last 30 years, barriers were gradually created between the defense and civilian industrial sectors as special defense requirements and business practices increasingly segregated the defense sector of the industrial base. Our dual-use technology policy reflects the recognition that our nation can no longer afford to maintain two distinct industrial bases. Our goal is to move toward a cutting-edge national technology and industrial base that will serve military as well as commercial needs. This dual-use technology strategy will allow the armed forces to exploit the rapid rate of innovation and market-driven efficiencies of commercial industry to meet defense needs. By drawing on commercial technology and capabilities wherever possible-along with the superior systems design and integration skills of U.S. prime contractors-the Defense Department can do its job more effectively and at lower cost. Conversely, the innovation and accomplishments that originate in defense programs and laboratories will move rapidly to the commercial sector.
"Dual use" goes beyond simply incorporating commercial off-the-shelf parts and equipment in military systems. It involves a fundamental shift toward technology that satisfies both civil and military needs-for lower costs and higher quality, as well as increased performance. We are working toward a future in which weapon systems are designed to use state-of-the-art commercial parts and subsystems and are built in integrated facilities. Of course, commercial technology will not meet every military need. But in a great many cases it will, and it will do so less expensively. Moreover, as flexible manufacturing systems are developed and more widely adopted, it will be increasingly possible to produce in a single plant both low-volume military equipment and similar high-volume commercial equipment.
By using components, subsystems, and technologies developed by commercial industry in our military systems wherever possible, we hope to attain three compatible objectives:
We must also direct R&D toward the manufacturing infrastructure that enables our dual-use technology initiatives. (A leading example is advanced metal matrix composites, which have numerous end item applications-both military and civilian-including missiles, defense vehicles, and automobiles.) Such manufacturing process technologies make our domestic commercial and defense industrial infrastructure more competitive and lessen our dependence on foreign sources for critical subtier items.
Our dual-use approach to technology development is supported by the Technology Reinvestment Project (TRP), unveiled by President Clinton in March 1993 (see "Technology Reinvestment Project"). The TRP employs mechanisms to encourage commercial companies to provide the Department of Defense early access to dual-use technology development. The TRP's customer is the Pentagon, which awards funds, on a cost-shared basis, to industry-led projects to create new dual-use technologies that address clear defense needs, both by providing new products and processes and by fostering affordability. Typical TRP projects include technologies to provide for affordable night-vision capability; to improve battlefield casualty treatment; and to make affordable the Army's technically superior but high-cost system for locating combat units on the battlefield in real time. By taking advantage of the potential for a commercial market, these projects offer the prospect of technology with improved performance at lower cost.
The Advanced Concept Technology Demonstration (ACTD) program is the Administration's approach to capturing and harnessing innovation for military use rapidly and at reduced cost. ACTDs are acquisition programs designed to foster an intimate alliance directly between the operational forces and the technologists and to remove the barriers between them. Representatives of the forces, including the Joint Staff, the Joint Requirements Oversight Council, and the commanders of unified and specified commands, play a direct role in the management of the ACTDs.
ACTDs are focused on four principal objectives: (1) to gain an understanding of and to evaluate the military utility of new technology applications before committing to acquisition; (2) to develop corresponding concepts of operation and doctrine that make the best use of the new capability; (3) to provide residual operational capability to the forces; and (4) to facilitate a more informed acquisition decision.
ACTDs are not only for new technologies but also seek new ways to integrate existing technologies to make platforms more effective in battle. ACTDs typically last two to four years, and the concepts are then given to one of the military services or a defense agency for formal acquisition.
The intent of the ACTD process is to provide the user with detailed interactions very early in development as a means for a rapid and cost-effective introduction of new capabilities to operational forces. Examples of ACTDs include Unmanned Air Vehicles, Cruise Missile Defense, Mine Countermeasures, Advanced Joint Planning, and Synthetic Theater of War. Additional demonstrations are planned for Combat Identification, Navigation Warfare, Miniature Air-Launched Decoy, and others.
International cooperation in defense technology is an important factor in advancing our national security and foreign policy goals. International technology cooperation can enhance mutual defense capabilities through standardization and interoperability with the forces of friendly and allied countries. It can spread the burden of financing development, promote U.S. access to foreign technologies and innovations; and deepen mutual understanding. International cooperation is also a large and indispensable element of our economic security, offering global market opportunities to U.S. industry. Through broad-based international programs undertaken by the private and public sectors we seek to take advantage of the best the world has to offer.
Fundamentally, international cooperation in defense-related technology areas is conducted among private-sector companies. Mechanisms for cooperation include research and development joint ventures; contractor teaming arrangements; prime/subcontractor relationships; coproduction and technical assistance agreements; and direct sales and purchases. At the basic research level, the scientific community-both public and private-also engages in many forms of international cooperation and collaboration, including laboratory-to-laboratory projects; exchange programs; university fellowships and visiting professorships; field research; networking; and participation in a wide range of international forums for the exchange of scientific knowledge.
Despite its many benefits, however, international cooperation in defense technology also presents risks. This Administration is committed to striking a balance between sharing our technology and protecting it so that the benefits continue to outweigh these risks. For the many cooperative activities conducted under the auspices of government-to-government agreements, the agreements themselves explicitly address national security and industrial base concerns, such as technology transfer and retransfer rules, data rights, and procedures for the handling of classified information. For private-sector ventures involving munitions, certain dual-use goods, and technical data, export licensing regulations are used to protect our national security interests. To preserve the competitive posture of American manufacturers in an environment in which other nations are often inclined to exercise less stringent controls on technology transfer, we seek multilateral export control approaches where possible.
There are transactions in three areas of global trade and technology transfer that are occurring with increasing frequency and that have the potential for broad national security or economic impact. Sales and contracts with foreign buyers imposing conditions leading to technology transfer, joint ventures with foreign partners involving technology sharing and next-generation development, and foreign investments in U.S. industry that create technology transfer opportunities may raise either economic or national security concerns that can temper the benefit we perceive as a nation.
We will continue to encourage international cooperation in defense technology because the payoff can be great. But we will also continue to expect our international partners to provide protections and assurances comparable to our own in sensitive areas. And we will continue to strike a judicious balance between risks and benefits to ensure that all our international science and technology cooperation activities make positive contributions to our national security and economic well-being.
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