The Department of Defense has a prime opportunity to rapidly acquire commercial systems instead of spending a decade to acquire a major weapon system. As an example, General Atomics new Mojave drone aircraft could be valuable to INDOPACOM.
With the rapidly evolving mission space and the accelerated pace of technological change, the traditional years-long timeline of the DoD timeline to field a system to meet a major capability need erodes our competitive advantage to the determent of our national security. This paper uses General Atomics new Mojave drone aircraft as an example of a mature commercial system that would be valuable to priority Combatant Commander needs. It navigates the challenges and strategies to acquire a weapon system through DoD’s requirements, acquisition, contracting, budget, and fielding processes. If efforts to acquire systems such as Mojave prove successful, they could represent a novel approach to acquiring and delivering major weapon systems.