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Mattis To Meet With Defense Companies About Buying Weapons

REUTERS/US Navy/Handout via Reuters

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Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is scheduled to meet with defense industry leaders April 13 to discuss contracting and weapons procurement, Defense Industry News reported Monday.

Mattis and top weapons buyer Frank Kendall will meet with industry chiefs to discuss the future of buying weapons under President Donald Trump, and how the Pentagon will approach programs the former administration started.

The meeting is organized by defense trade associations Aerospace Industries Association and National Defense Industries Association, as well as the Professional Services Council, which advocates on behalf of contractors across the government.

Along with discussion of research and development policies, defense budget and foreign military sales, the group is expected to talk about what Mattis’ predecessor, former Defense Secretary Ash Carter, called the “Third Offset strategy,” a push to invest funds into developing new, advanced technology for the battlefield.

Part of Carter’s third offset push was to create the Defense Innovation Unit-Experimental, a group designed to collaborate with Silicon Valley tech companies and find applications for civilian innovations in combat. (RELATED: Congress Demands Answers On The DoD, DHS Silicon Valley ‘Experiment’

Trump’s proactive approach to negotiating individual weapons contracts, the F-35 and Air Force One, caught the industry by surprise. Trump has an opportunity to negotiate a number of better deals, as more than $210 billion worth of contracts are set to expire next year, according to a study from corporate analyst Govini.

While industry analysts are optimistic that Trump will bolster military spending to accomplish his goals for the armed forces, the industry has expressed concerns about his approach to contracting.

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