The defence industry in the post-transformational world : implications for the United States and Singapore
Bitzinger, Richard A.
Date of Issue2008
S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
The transformation of the U.S. armed forces was initially promoted as nothing less than a fundamental shift in the way wars would be fought in the future. Such far-reaching and ambitious aims naturally implied significant changes for the U.S. defence industrial base. In particular, would new requirements for network-centric warfare undermine the long-standing predominance of the U.S. military’s traditional suppliers and thereby shift defence work in favour of new cadre of firms, particularly those drawn from the commercial information technologies (IT) sector? Would specialized “Boutique firms” and foreign suppliers find a stronger niche in the transformed U.S. defence industrial environment? In fact, given that unfolding U.S. defence transformation efforts resembles more a process of sustaining rather than disruptive, innovation and change, the impact on the defence industry has been slight. Large, traditionally defence-oriented firms continue to dominate U.S. defence contraction. Interestingly, commercial IT firms are not becoming directly involved in defence work, tending to act mainly as subcontractors to traditional defence companies. As the U.S. defence contracting business remains largely unchanged, the role of foreign firms in this process will also remain limited, and overseas defence companies, in Singapore and elsewhere, will continue to find it a challenge to penetrate the U.S. defence market.
DRNTU::Social sciences::Military and naval science::Strategy::Asia
RSIS Working Papers ; 150/08