priorities, global threats remain and are constantly
evolving. This requires us to make our armed services
more capable, more survivable and more lethal across a
broad spectrum of threats. Along with traditional
threats, we also face irregular, catastrophic, disruptive
threats. As a result, military planners must shift away
from total reliance on a traditional portfolio of capabilities — designed to address the conflicts of the 20th century — to the full spectrum of agile, responsive capabilities necessary to defend against the peer threat, as well
as terrorist attacks, secular conflicts and cyber warfare.
STEVENS: The challenges facing us in the defense
industry today are, for the most part, not too different
from those we’ve faced in past years.
■ Engaging government customers in dialogue to promote common understanding of defense strategies and
■ Working to help maintain stability in program
requirements and funding, and better orchestrating
■ Seeking cost-saving multiyear procurements for
■ Supporting rational reforms to technology transfer
and export controls that enhance global security.
Such challenges persist despite all our best efforts.
As leading defense contractors, we should be focusing
more on ways we collectively can improve the defense
industrial base, such as:
■ Generating solutions that are innovative and affordable.
■ Reducing costs with targeted research and development (R&D) investments and streamlined production
■ Meeting government customer expectations on
cost, schedule and performance.
■ Retaining competitive suppliers.
■ Leveraging state-of-the-art commercial technologies
and the global marketplace.
■ Recruiting and retaining a skilled and diverse science and technology-focused work force.
SUGAR: The biggest challenge facing the defense
industry over the next 10 years will be the competition
for human capital, particularly U.S. citizens in the science, engineering and technical fields. The median age
of the current work force is rising, and many of these
people will be retiring over the next 10 years. This is
exacerbated by the fact that enrollment in science and
engineering has declined in our colleges and universities. There will be more and more competition to recruit and retain graduates with these skills, not only
within the defense industry, but within government
and commercial sectors as well.
WALTER P. HAVENSTEIN, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER
OF BAE SYSTEMS PLC., AND PRESIDENT AND CEO
OF BAE SYSTEMS INC.
“In a time when we are at war …
the United States should refrain from
instituting protectionist policies that
could deleteriously affect our troops
in the field and our relationships with
It is a constant battle to inspire youth into these
challenging fields. Math, science and engineering are
hard studies. They require attention span and focus.
They lack the sizzle of sports, movies and pop culture.
But kids in other countries are making the sacrifice.
The greatest threat we face as a nation is complacency. A National Academies report, “Rising Above the
Gathering Storm,” shows clearly that not all nations
share our complacency in the promotion of math, science and engineering. If we are not careful, those nations
will happily exploit this high-tech age at our expense.
SMITH: In the near term, working with the Department of Defense (DoD), Department of Homeland