Innovation, Technology, and Defence Procurement: Reform or Paradigmatic Shift?

Innovation, Technology, and Defence Procurement: Reform or Paradigmatic Shift?

Renaud Bellais, Josselin Droff
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0599-0.ch012
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In the main arms-producing countries, Ministries of Defence are looking for alternative ways to acquire defence capabilities. Over the past two decades, several reform projects have been experimented to go beyond the model inherited from the Cold War, but they did not succeed in delivering expected results. One may wonder whether such defence acquisition systems correspond to their core mission: supplying boots on the ground with adequate capacities. The research agenda and reforms programmes are biased since they focus mainly on “how” to procure. While reforming existing mechanisms seems to fail or to deliver well below expectations, one may wonder in fact whether the true question should concern “why” and “what” to buy with regard to military needs but also the place that technology takes in conceiving defence capabilities.
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Reforming Or Overcoming The Cold-War Legacy?

When dealing with the most suitable defence acquisition system, it appears that North American and European countries have been trying to fix existing systems for at least three decades. Given the perseverance of these governments to continue with reforms over such a time period, combined with mixed results of success, the critical question facing them is not so much ‘if’ it is necessary to reform the defence acquisition, but rather ‘how’ to do so in order to deliver the capabilities that armed forces need.

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