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US defense modernization gets a ‘D’ grade in new report as tech roadblocks persist

March 19, 2024

Valerie Insinna

Breaking Defense

The Pentagon has spent years making many overt outreach efforts to Silicon Valley, a place where it has direct ties going back decades. (U.S. Air Force photo by 1st Lt. Scarlett Trujillo)

By Valerie Insinna, Breaking Defense / March 19, 2024

WASHINGTON — A new report released today gives the United States a “D” in defense modernization, the result of the Defense Department showing little improvement in transitioning the innovative gear  from fledgling defense tech firms into mass-produced equipment available for battlefield use.

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute today released its second annual National Security Innovation Base report card, which assigns grades to key metrics tied to the Pentagon’s ability to leverage the work of the defense companies, start ups and research laboratories it depends on to develop leap-ahead technologies.

Top Pentagon acquisition officials have upped engagement with Silicon Valley and championed investments in small defense startups in recent years, as the department looks to bring the speed and innovation seen in Big Tech into the defense industry.

Read the rest of the report here: