Senate Defense Budget Would Shift R&D Burden to Industry

A less-discussed feature of the Senate defense authorization bill would shift the burden of research and development costs from the government to industry, a defense budget expert said Tuesday. Andrew Hunter, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies said the Senate’s change in military contracting rules includes a 1 percent penalty con cost-plus contracts. There was a time when “the DOD drove research and development elsewhere in the US and worldwide. But today that is not even close to being true,” Hunter said during a budget discussion at The Heritage Foundation in Washington, D.C. The penalty, Hunter said, would incentivize fixed-cost contracts in which a military contractor takes on the risks related to research and development of new technologies. This shift signals a “new era where new technologies will not be developed on the government dime,” he said.