Back to the Future: Routine Experimentation With Prototypes

CIMSEC – Broad agreement exists that the Department of Defense’s, and thus the Navy’s, acquisition system is bound like Gulliver by Lilliputian processes, resulting in an inability to adapt. This inflexibility threatens to increase the risks to operating forces as they face a growing number of adaptive adversaries, ranging from China and Russia, North Korea and Iran, to the Islamic State, Al Qaeda, and others. Well-intended legislation and increasing reliance upon computer modeling to inform the selection of future platforms and systems are major contributors to the current situation. Greater reliance on experimenting with prototypes at sea could provide a large improvement.