ANALYZING SOLID ROCKET MOTORS AND THE CHANGES IN THE INDUSTRY THAT AFFECT THE DEFENSE INDUSTRIAL BASE

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Authors
Gureck, William R.
Subjects
solid rocket motors
Department of Defense
energetics
missiles
munitions
rockets
space companies
Aerojet Rocketdyne
China
SpaceX
supply chain
Russia
valley of death
foreign sources
Advisors
Dunlap, Jeffrey R.
Dew, Nicholas
Date of Issue
2023-12
Date
Publisher
Monterey, CA; Naval Postgraduate School
Language
Abstract
The United States has a powerful defense industrial base. However, a growing weak spot within this base is solid rocket motor (SRM) production. Several factors contribute to this issue, including a slowdown in research and development of munition energetics and the consolidation of SRM manufacturers over the past two decades, limiting options for the Department of Defense. Additionally, new commercial space companies hold promise in providing a remedy to industry weaknesses yet face barriers in competing for defense contracts due to stringent requirements and expensive and lengthy qualification standards. Importing materials from adversarial countries further threatens the military's supply chain during wartime. To mitigate these challenges, this paper emphasizes the importance of both continuing research in advanced technology and strengthening the domestic supply chain. Encouraging domestic manufacturers and suppliers should foster resilience, reduce reliance on external trade routes during conflict, and enhance the defense industrial base's adaptability and innovation. By implementing the recommendations of this thesis, the U.S. defense industry can maintain its technological edge and the U.S. can remain a formidable competitor in an ever-evolving global security landscape.
Type
Thesis
MBA Professional Project
Description
Department
Department of Defense Management (DDM)
Identifiers
NPS Report Number
Sponsors
Funder
Format
Citation
Distribution Statement
Approved for public release. Distribution is unlimited.
Rights
This publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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