IEEE sheds light on defense industry problems, trends

The IEEE originally stood for the Institute of Electrical and…

The IEEE originally stood for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, but is better known today solely by its acronym, IEEE, because the organization’s interests have expanded into multiple fields of interests.  One of the most important interested to many members of the organization is the defense industry.  A recent IEEE Spectrum Magazine sheds light on the many industry trends occurring today, most of which are not good. 

Some of the highlights, perhaps more appropriately dubbed “low”lights, include the fact that the US Navy is smaller than it has been in decades and currently has no viable shipbuilding programs for its surface combatants.  In addition to the Navy headaches, the US Army has a modernization strategy but currently faces a maintenance overhang and challenges with program management of their $160 billion FCS programs, among other issues. The USAF is concerned about its future as an institution as outside organizations often criticize its procurement plans as fantasy.  Perhaps the largest issue involved in the IEEE Magazine is that of cost increases on five major weapons programs, which accounted for $206 billion (22%) of the total increase in new arms spending we’ve seen in the last decade.

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