Developing New Capabilities: Working Faster and Smarter with Fewer Resources
Mr. Jan-Olof Lind
National Armaments Director of Sweden
Many nations today have developed road maps, or transformation strategies, for defense reform. For the short and medium term (three to six years), these strategies are clearly focused on capability, deployability, and readiness—a here-and-now focus. Their goal is to create reaction forces that meet the capabilities stated in the European Capability Action Planning documents. Defense organizations are now expected to have a high degree of flexibility in order to generate new capabilities and to adapt to the requirements of the evolving nature of crises.
Defense and industry organizations are also expected to generate new capabilities faster. For small nations that have limited resources and, in many cases, decreasing budgets, a high degree of innovation is needed to meet these expectations.
I would like to begin discussion of this situation by addressing some questions to this panel:
1. Is it possible to reduce by up to half the lead time necessary for generating a new capability? Where are the current critical bottlenecks in planning, development, and procurement?
2. How can ministers of defense and procurement agencies streamline their processes? Is the Integrated Product Teams (IPT) concept the way ahead?
3. How can the European Defense Agency be a driving force for implementing flexibility and increasing speed in defense procurement procedures?
4. How can industry conglomerates and individual companies effectively produce new capabilities—by both upgrading existing strategies and developing brand-new systems—in shorter time spans than the traditional 10 to 15 years of development?
5. How can industry, to which we intend to outsource more and more operational maintenance, take on their other mission of providing new capabilities?
6. How well do national and international business practices and legislation support faster planning and execution? While single-source contracts may reduce the lead time needed for formal contractual procedures, national and European legislation are clearly promoting competition as the main principle for procurement.
These are just a few of the questions that need to be addressed in order for defense reform to take place. No single nation, industry, or organization has all the answers, so we must all take up the challenge to discuss and create innovative solutions.