NDIA’s Carlisle testifies before Senate Armed Services Committee

2/24/2021

Hawk Carlisle testifies Feb. 23 before the Senate Armed Services Committee

ARLINGTON, VA -- The character of war has changed, NDIA’S Hawk Carlisle told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday, Feb. 23, with the threat not “boots on the ground in far-off theaters” but “in the domains of cyberspace and actual space.”

“Adversaries know they cannot outlast American industrial might today. But they are making gains in changing this calculus,” said Carlisle, president and CEO of the National Defense Industrial Association. He testified with Brad Smith, president of Microsoft Corp, and Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google, president of Schmidt Futures and chair of the National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence.

The trio were invited to share their expertise on emerging technologies and national security and what the United States must do to develop and deploy these technologies faster. The three agreed solid funding, reliable defense budgets and a better acquisition strategy are all key to this goal.

U.S. adversaries get stronger every day, Carlisle said, “unconstrained by a fiscal year budget and without the concerns of possible continuing resolutions to inhibit their ability to innovate” while waiting for the funding to come through. Contractors, particularly small businesses, cannot sustain in the holding pattern such fiscal decisions put them in, he said.

The 2018 National Defense Strategy’s 11 modernization priorities are the right focus because “we know our peer competitors are investing in these areas as well, especially China,” Carlisle said. China has made great gains in hypersonics “by outspending us, outpacing us and building on our work,” he said. China also has made fast advancements in space and is investing deeply in artificial intelligence and biotechnology.

Among key points of Carlisle’s testimony:

  • Winning the Great Power Competition means “identifying ways to efficiently and effectively deliver from research and development to acquisition, from commercial as well as traditional defense firms, to pull forward and not leave this technology to solely the commercial market or sitting on the shelf,” he said.
  • Small business must play a greater role in technology development. Look for opportunities to use the Small-Business Innovation Research program, in particular the “time-saving authorities” in SBIR Phase III, to get technologies under contract and to the warfighter faster.
  • Ramp up the use of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Defense Innovation Unit, the Space Development Agency and AFWERX to bring more nontraditional players into the defense arena.
  • Make greater collaboration across the military services to identify and deploy technology without duplicating efforts.

Carlisle’s testimony is available here. The full hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee is available here

For media queries, contact Evamarie Socha at esocha@NDIA.org

About NDIA

The National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) is America's leading defense industry association promoting national security. NDIA provides a legal and ethical forum for the exchange of information between industry and government on national security issues. NDIA and its members foster the development of the most innovative and superior equipment, training, and support for warfighters and first responders through its divisions, local chapters, affiliated associations, and events. For more information, visit www.ndia.org