Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV)

Pentagon: Buy Commercial Already

By Peter Modigliani

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.

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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.