Leonardo DRS’ William Lynn: Stable Defense Spending Could Help Industry Focus on DoD’s Priorities

William Lynn
William Lynn

Leonardo DRS CEO William Lynn told Government Matters in an interview posted Tuesday that one of the trends he sees in the defense sector is the Pentagon’s need for speed.

He said the Department of Defense wants industry to deliver faster and companies should understand DoD’s priorities to know where to invest and meet the department’s requirements.

“For the department to be able to display its priorities, they need stability. That’s why that budget agreement that laid out two years of stable funding and a path forward was so important,” he said. “Once the department can lay out that spending plan, industry can focus on where to invest, how much to invest and how fast. The key is to focus the department on stability and the industry on investing in the department’s priorities.”

Lynn said the National Defense Strategy introduced by James Mattis, former DoD secretary and a two-time Wash100 award winner, helped the department plan when it comes to budget and allowed the industry to understand DoD’s priorities and where to invest.

DoD entered a period where the budget is very high and Lynn said he expects the department and services to make tradeoffs as the defense budget starts to plateau.

“From industry, what you are watching is what are each of the services doing in that tradeoff space. Are they emphasizing force structure … investment … procurement of current items … or investment in future technologies? Those are the signals you are looking for.”

He also noted that cyber assurance is the most important thing an industry partner can do to demonstrate its commitment to the integrity of the defense supply chain.

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