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DRS CEO William Lynn: Pentagon Should Adopt a Global Approach to Tech R&D

William Lynn

William Lynn, CEO of DRS Technologies and Finmeccanica North America, said the Pentagon must think globally in order for the U.S. military to gain access to cutting-edge technology, Federal Radio News reported Tuesday.

“We’re not seeing the same level of research and development investment today as we did before, and in particular, relative to the rest of the economy, it’s been shrinking,” Lynn told an Atlantic Council-hosted forum Tuesday.

Michael O’Connell writes the National Research Council estimates that the U.S. accounts for less than one-third of worldwide R&D spending and the organization forecasts that R&D investments will decrease 18 percent by 2050.

Lynn believes that Pentagon must acknowledge consolidation, procurement and globalization trends to retain military’s technological advantage.

“3D printing, nanotechnology, the cloud, autonomous vehicle technology, a lot of that is being done outside defense,” Lynn added, according to the station.

“And so, you need a structure that pulls it into the national security arena and then operationalizes it for our military force.”

“I think that’s going to be one of the key steps we need to take if we’re going to maintain that edge,” he added.

Lynn estimates that Boeing, Lockheed Martin, L-3 Communications, Northrop Grumman and Raytheon collectively invest $3 billion in R&D.

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