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Air Force Eyes ‘Digital Engineering’ to Help Industry Create More Jobs

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Will Roper, assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics and 2019 Wash100 Award winner, said digital engineering could help the service and the Department of Defense address the challenges facing contractors in rapid defense procurement initiatives, National Defense Magazine reported Friday.
“Through increased computing speed, storage capacity and processing capabilities, digital engineering has empowered a paradigm shift from the traditional design-build-test methodology,” he said at a recent conference hosted by the Air Force Association in Arlington, Va. “This approach can enable DoD programs to prototype, experiment and test decisions and solutions in a virtual environment before they are delivered to the warfighter.”

The Air Force uses document-intensive and stovepiped engineering processes to replace or sustain weapons systems, according to the DoD’s latest digital engineering strategy. The approach affects how the defense industrial base secure contracts and works on tech development and maturation, which commonly take years, Roper said. 

“What I think digital engineering can do for the Air Force is allow us to compete things more frequently,” he said.