US industrial supply chain poses defense risks according to new study

The U.S. defense industrial base has serious supply chain deficiencies, according to a report just issued by the Trump Administration. The 250 supply chain risks covered in the report include metal castings for military applications.

The study, “Assessing And Strengthening the Manufacturing and Defense Industrial Base and Supply Chain Resiliency of the United States,” warns that if the supply chain risks are not fixed quickly, the Pentagon faces “limited capabilities, insecurity of supply, lack of R&D, program delays, and an inability to surge in times of crisis”

Recommendations in the report were submitted by the Departments of Defense, Energy, and Labor.  

The most sensitive areas of the 250 critical supply chain risks include:
•             Uncertain government spending, fluctuating defense spending and uncertainty about defense budgets that create inefficiencies in production and costs
•             Decline of U.S. manufacturing capabilities and capacity, primarily in the “sub-tiers” of the defense supply chain
•             Predatory industrial policies of competitor nations
•             Diminishing U.S. science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), and trade skills workforce

The report also identified ten “risk archetypes” that flow from the macro forces, including sole and single source suppliers, “fragile” suppliers and markets, supplier markets that are capacity constrained, dependence on foreign-made components, diminished manufacturing and materials shortages, workforce skills gaps, erosion of U.S. infrastructure, and product security.