Tuesday, November 08, 2022

LaPlant Goes Salamander

For the last two decades here we have reminded people that - as much as one can on this net - they need to look hard at their magazine inventory and bounce that off REALISTIC (not official) expected wartime expenditures. Congress is mostly kept in the dark on this, and worse - people in uniform pimp vignettes and wargames that almost seem designed to minimize requirements.

Our concerns have been hand-waved for years, often by the people you would usually rely on to push warfighting concerns to the front.

The cold hard fact is we simply cannot sustain a large conflict for very long - especially with our best, most accurate and long-legged standoff weapons.

One of the best immediate byproducts of the Russo-Ukrainian War is that more people are starting to see how even the "Arsenal of Democracy" has not properly prepared for war. 

We have let production lines go cold without replacement, let inventories barely able to sustain peacetime requirements, and have consolidated and windowed industry to the point it can't flex even if it wanted to.

In to the conversation comes Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment Bill LaPlante.

It looks like the Legislative Branch wants to pick up this ball and run with it ... but it needs to be sustained. There is a lot of work to do.

Read this twice;

For Pentagon acquisitions, LaPlante said, the crisis in Ukraine ought to inject a new focus on whether a weapon is easily mass produced and functions as well as whether troops can be trained on it quickly ― and whether it’s applicable in the Pacific.

Those factors should be part of conversations about the viability of developmental projects that rely on emerging technologies or nontraditional avenues like the Defense Innovation Unit and other transaction authorities.

“If somebody gives you a really cool, liquored-up story about a DIU or OTA, ask him when it’s going to production; ask him how many numbers; ask him what the [unit cost] is going to be; ask him about work against China,” La Plante said. “Ask them all those questions because that’s what matters.”

“The tech bros aren’t helping us too much in Ukraine; they want to,” he added. “Ukraine is not holding their own against Russia with quantum [computing], they’re not they’re not holding their own with [artificial intelligence]. They’re not ― whatever your favorite gadget is. It’s hardcore production of really serious weaponry.”

Did you catch that? He wants the "good" now because the much promised "perfect" will never show up, and if it does, it won't be of much use.

We need serious money buying serious weapons that can be used at war NOW. Not 2035. Not 2040.


Better late than never ... but good people have known this for a long time, they just didn't have the wind at their back. Now they do.

Get to work. Make it happen.

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