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Frank Kendall: Defense Firms Should Sustain Internal R&D Programs

frank kendallPentagon acquisition chief Frank Kendall has called on defense companies to maintain independent funds for research and development efforts, as government investment in technological R&D continues to decline, Defense News reported Monday.

Marcus Weisgerber and Zachary Fryer-Biggs write industry is hesitant to invest in independent R&D projects amid cuts to defense spending and procurement.

Kendall, who previously served as vice president of engineering for Raytheon, told Defense News that “as companies try to manage their bottom lines in a time of downturn, there’s temptation to cut that [IRAD funding].”

Mica Endsley, chief scientist of the U.S. Air Force, said in a recent interview with Defense News the branch is making a list of emerging risks to help the industry make strategic investments.

“I think we do have to look at what the avenues are for getting the technologies we need in a reasonable time frame at a reasonable cost and how we need to be laying out our requirements such as that happens,” Endsley added.

According to the article, new technology reaching maturity is a result of decade-old R&D investments and current investments would come to fruition a decade from now.

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