in Defence

US DoD releases first-ever National Defense Industrial Strategy

Posted 24 January 2024

The US Department of Defense (DoD) has released its inaugural National Defense Industrial Strategy (NDIS), which will guide the Department's engagement, policy development and investment in the industrial base over the next three to five years.

Above: Dr Laura D. Taylor-Kale, Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Base Policy and Ms Halimah Najieb-Locke, (Acting) Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Base Policy, brief the media regarding DoD's new National Defense Industrial Strategy (NDIS) at the Pentagon (11.01.2024).
Courtesy DoD

Taking its lead from the National Defense Strategy (NDS), this strategy will catalyse generational change from the existing defense industrial base to a more robust, resilient and dynamic modernised defence industrial ecosystem.

"The current and future strategic environment demands immediate, comprehensive and decisive action to strengthen and modernise our defence industrial base ecosystem so it delivers at speed and scale for our warfighters," Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks said. "DoD's first-ever National Defense Industrial Strategy will help ensure we build the modern defence industrial and innovation ecosystem that's required to defend America, our allies and partners and our interests in the 21st century."

"We are proud to release this ground-breaking strategy," said Dr William A. LaPlante, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment. "The NDIS recognises that America's economic security and national security are mutually reinforcing and, ultimately the nation's military strength cannot be untethered from our overall industrial strength. We must act now to build on recent progress and ensure we have the capacity to produce at speed and scale."

While the NDS identifies risk to the industrial base, it also guides the Department to solutions. Recognising that the defence industrial base must provide the required capabilities at the speed and scale necessary for the US military to engage and prevail in a near-peer conflict, the NDIS strategy calls out challenges, solutions and risks of failure concisely. The strategy offers a strategic vision and path along four strategic priorities: resilient supply chains, workforce readiness, flexible acquisition and economic deterrence.

This proposed pathway to modernise the defence industrial ecosystem also recognises that this effort cannot be a Department of Defense-only solution, repeatedly emphasising cooperation and coordination between the entire US government, private industry and international allies and partners.

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