Every year the Pentagon buys hundreds of billions of dollars of equipment and supplies, from ships and planes to weapons and food. Independent U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine and other members of the Senate Armed Services Committee say they want the military to do a better job at procurement — he says it’s a matter of national security.
“Reducing lead times is almost as important as price. We can’t maintain our qualitative edge if it just takes too long to get the weapon into the field,” he says.
King says DOD needs to obtain needed equipment more quickly and, if possible, off the shelf. As an example he applauds the decision to use a Boeing 737 as the basis for the new P-8 antisubmarine aircraft instead of designing and building a whole new plane.