The Pentagon unveiled its implementation for Better Buying Power 3.0, the latest effort to improve its acquisition system, with a greater focus on trying to maintain the technological superiority that America has relied on to win conflicts since World War II. Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work said the US was losing its technological advantage due to cuts in research funding from sequestration and increased spending by possible adversaries. BBP 3.0 “is primarily about providing technological superiority to our warfighters” and “extending our superiority into the 21st century,” he said. Following Work at a Pentagon briefing, acquisition executive Frank Kendall said the key changes from BBP 2 include increased emphasis on being responsive to changes in the threat by designing new systems to allow easier upgrades. That would require “closer ties between the acquisition and the threat communities,” which apparently meant intelligence agencies. Another key element was a focus on cyber?security, which he called a “pervasive problem,” that is a threat to new programs at every stage from concept to sustainment. BBP 3.0 is intended to break down some of the regulatory barriers to make it easier to do business with the Pentagon and take advantage of commercial innovation. (See also Better Buying from the March 2015 issue of Air Force Magazine.)
When the Air Force sets a new program baseline for the B-52 re-engining this fall, there will be “some” cost increase, because the project wasn't previously fully funded, and the Air Force has a better handle on actual supplier costs and knowledge from ground testing, program officials said.