As the U.S. and Europe reduce their procurement budgets, concern is growing for the defense industrial base. But more correctly put, the issue is what role does defense and aerospace manufacturing play in enabling, sustaining and empowering U.S., European and allied military forces? And more broadly, what is the role of advanced manufacturing in sustaining American, European and allied military forces?

Unfortunately, the capabilities to manufacture product is paid less attention to than to debates about platforms. The ability to manufacture military kit is a central capability for Western forces to operate effectively and for modern manufacturers, the design and production of new platforms and systems is done with a core focus on building in enhanced ability to sustain and support the equipment in the field.

This section of the website focuses on key elements of “manufacturability” or key programs approach to manufacturability in building sustainable equipment for 21st century military forces. Advanced military manufacturing is highly synergistic with the civilian sector, and any examination of the military and aerospace sector will have to necessarily engage in analysis of the military and civilian sector relationship. From time to time, stories addressing this issue will be introduced as well.

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—General George Patton Jr.

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