Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, Rep. Mac Thornberry (R., Texas), has introduced legislation that would speed up how the Pentagon buys weapons so they can get into the hands of warfighters faster and more efficiently, Reuters reported.
“Thornberry’s legislation follows an initial batch of reforms enacted last year with the 2016 annual defense policy bill, and continues efforts to make weapons programs more transparent,” the article states. “The proposals are aimed at simplifying the convoluted U.S. Defense Department acquisition process, with a big push to fund more experimentation and prototyping of new weapons, while driving to get new technologies into the hands of troops faster.”
According to committee staff, because some complex weapons systems have technology that isn’t mature, the programs are often expensive and behind schedule. The reform proposals would only encourage mature technology to enter procurement, the staff explained.
“The new legislation aims to shorten the time it takes from the start of the design phase of a new program until a military service can start using a new weapon in combat to five-to-six years from around the nine year currently,” Reuters explained.
“The bill also seeks to end a controversy about how the Pentagon treats private companies’ intellectual property that has made non-traditional suppliers reluctant to do business with the U.S. military and its complex defense acquisition rules,” the article states. “To ensure more transparency, the bill also calls for creation of an acquisition scorecard that would compare program cost estimates with those submitted by independent estimators.”