Today the Department of Defense announced its new Manufacturing Technology (ManTech) Program for 2008 at the Defense Manufacturing Conference in Las Vegas. John J. Kubricky, deputy under secretary of defense for advanced systems and concepts, explained that the Army, Navy and Air Force have successfully managed their individual ManTech programs for decades; this is the first year for DoD's defense-wide program.
"The services have realized billions in savings and cost avoidance over the years by applying ManTech to production and sustainment of their major systems," said Kubricky. "Now, the department and Congress want to apply ManTech to a broader set of defense technologies where prudent investments will yield benefits to all of the armed services."
Beginning in the federal government's fiscal 2008, the program expects to fund investments that will mature ceramic matrix composites manufacturing processes, system-on-chip packaging technology and design guidelines, and advanced manufacturing processes for prosthetics for our wounded warriors. "Other project candidates are being evaluated, and we anticipate returns-on-investment that range from 6:1 to 12:1 in terms of procurement and operating costs, improved operational availability rates, and faster availability for deployment," said Kubricky.
The defense-wide ManTech program aims to mature cross-cutting manufacturing processes in parallel with new and emerging technologies that are inserted into DoD systems. ManTech enables a cost-efficient and collaborative development process that concurrently retires cross-cutting manufacturing risk with technology risk to enable product-ready technology insertion. Equally important, the program aligns research and development investments with suitable levels of technology maturity or calls for corrective options in advance of Milestone B decisions.
"The ManTech processes that are developed, demonstrated and deployed through this program will be used to produce increasingly complex defense systems so our nation maintains superior equipment that is more affordable to acquire, operate and maintain," added Kubricky. ManTech generally measures results in decreased cycle time for production, lower manufacturing costs, more predictable performance, and improved reliability that yields reductions in life-cycle-costs.
Over the longer term, DoD anticipates the defense-wide ManTech program will transition to the Services to execute cross-cutting manufacturing projects that benefit all of the armed services.