Evaluating foreign-source dependencies in U.S. Army missile system production
Matthews, David F.
Prueitt, George C.
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This purpose of this thesis is to inform the acquisition community of the growing concern about the dependence upon foreign sources for both components and technologies used to produce Army missile systems. The extent of foreign-source use is unknown, due to the lack of data. In spite of America's recent economic gains, foreign-source dependencies may be increasing. Research suggests that the foreign-dependency issue receives lower-priority attention at both the national and the program management levels. The new threat environment and the rise of industrial globalization increase the risks associated with foreign-source dependencies. Failing to manage foreign-source dependencies can cause production stoppages in an emergency, and the loss of the technological superiority of U.S. weaponry. Program Managers are required to manage their systems' foreign-source dependencies, but they are often unaware of foreign-source use until problems occur, nor are they provided with adequate resources to manage this area. The foreign- dependency issue was examined from the points of view of economists, the Government and industry. Interviews of program management officials and a survey of lower-tier vendors were conducted to substantiate trends noted in the literature review. Proposed evaluation methodologies, foreign-dependency causes, and solutions were reviewed.
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