Military products from commercial production lines - a feasibility study
Openshaw, Shane T.
Snider, Keith F.
Desbrow, Sandra M.
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As defense budgets decline and traditional defense industry suppliers downsize and consolidate, many believe that the Department of Defense (DoD) must learn how to do business in the commercial marketplace. In fact, commercial industry is leading the pace of technological advances in many important areas. Many current and ongoing acquisition reform initiatives are geared toward improving the business practices of DoD and integrating the commercial and defense sectors of the industrial base. This thesis is an examination of one such acquisition reform program. The Air Force's 'Military Products From Commercial Production Lines Pilot Program' is demonstrating the feasibility of having a commercial firm manufacture military avionics modules. This thesis explores existing technical, legal, and cultural barriers to implementing the pilot program, analyzes the program's risks and benefits, and makes recommendations for future applications. The thesis provides an account of the successes, failures, and lessons learned that may be used by program managers at all levels in determining if commercial industry can be a viable source of military-unique end-items.
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