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5 CONCLUSION The problems of the U.S. defense industrial base are reflected in long lead times to procure weapon systems, high costs, uncertain quality, ant more frequent procure- ment of components from other countries. These problems happened in part because manufacturing process development has been allowed to lag product development for weapon systems. The ManTech program has had some success in promoting the development of manufacturing technology to produce weapon systems. If DOD had given investment in innovative manufacturing technology high priority and more strategic direction, the program could have accomplished more. We recommend a new ManTech program that directly funds investment in a few innovative manufacturing technologies needed for the next generation of weapon systems. The Secretaries of the Army, Nary, Air Force, and Defense need to establish priorities for future weapon systems. ManTech program managers in the services can then trans- late those priorities into specific groups of projects. We believe they have proven their ability to do so. ManTech projects should be selected to be innovative, generic, not adequately funded by the private sector, and critical to the capabilities of the defense industrial base. Evaluation of the ManTech program should reflect the limits in measurement abilities and in the standard accounting system. The program should be judged success- ful if it has (1) funded a critical mass of projects to develop the technologies needed for future weapon systems and (2) achieved sufficient technical success to advance the state of the art. 27
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