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American military support has been crucial in Ukraine’s fight against Russia. The rapid consumption and difficulties ramping up production of munitions such as Javelins, Stingers, and HIMARS are a wakeup call, however. If supporting Ukraine creates this much stress on our defense industrial base, how could U.S. industrial capacity support an extended military campaign in the Taiwan Straits, let alone conflicts on multiple fronts?
Our industrial base develops and fields the best military systems in the world, but the experience in Ukraine has demonstrated that we clearly do not produce enough materiel for a sustained fight. Missile and munitions production have rightly received a lot of attention in recent months, but the need to produce more goes way beyond munitions.
We ultimately get the defense industrial base we buy, so additional resources are part of the solution. However, building the industrial base resilience necessary to counter threats from Russia, China, and beyond requires a greater focus on capacity. What steps should government and industry be taking to build greater capacity for tomorrow’s national security challenges?
America needs to grow its capacity to produce weapons. Here’s four steps to do it. Jerry McGinn, Breaking Defense, Commentary, March 17, 2023
Dr. Jerry McGinn
Moderator & Executive Director
Baroni Center for Government Contracting
The Hon. Kevin Fahey
Senior Vice President & General Manager
General Dynamics Ordinance and Tactical Systems
Dr. Christine Michienzi
Senior Technology Advisor
Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Logistics