Now Let’s Not Blame Requirement Creep on Military Bidding, Acquisition, and Purchases

It seems there is currently a lot of debate in the Congress regarding military acquisitions and bidding. It seems everyone is pointing fingers at defense contractors when the cost of a given defense system or major purchase spins out of control. The Congress looks at what was allotted for a certain period in the budget for a certain defense system, and is upset when it costs twice as much. However, there is a whole lot of feature creep (a term used in software development) or rather Requirement Creep, as defense contractors work on such projects, and prior to the military taking delivery.
Indeed, after the military takes delivery there are always new missile systems, guidance systems, safety systems, and new weapons systems which might be loaded upon the platform which was purchased, calling for new contracts to upgrade the current equipment for the new high-tech systems. All this costs money, and it adds to the military’s budget, in their quest to stay hyper vigilant, and on the high-tech edge of their military tools.
It is paramount that our military is ready for anything, and everything, and new threats emerge in the future battlespace all the time. As soon as we upgrade our systems, our potential adversaries upgrade their defense systems to counter act them. If we put forth a new missile defense system, they start building new decoy systems, and stealthy missiles – things which might be able to break through such a defense system. Such is that high-tech game of war, where each side works to get the advantage.
Often, we see Congressman in committee grilling a defense contractor, or making a big stink about how the military is getting ripped off by all these corporations which provide most of the products, and many of the services which the military uses. Perhaps, we need to take some of that blame game away from its intended target, and have the Congressmen refocus this angst on the reality at hand. The military must be able to upgrade their solicitations, bids, and ongoing contracts whenever necessary.
If the threats change in the world, so too must the contracts. There’s no sense in completing a five-year contract to build army tanks, jet fighters, or new missile systems, if they will be leapfrogged by the potential enemies of our nation. Thus, they will be rendered obsolete before they hit the battlespace in the defense of our nation and therefore they are of no value, plus the fact they will cost lives of those operating the defense systems. That makes no sense at all.
So let’s not blame feature creep or requirement creep on the defense contractors doing the Military bidding, let’s just realize that this is a fact of the industry. Once we do that, we should be able to build in protocols for upgrades, while these systems are being built on the factory floor. It’s a cost of doing business, it’s a known fact, and historically we should realize this will occur in nearly every instance, and thus it must be considered in advance. Please consider all this.

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