In recent years, BAE Systems has won so much armored-vehicle work from the U.S. Army and Marine Corps that a government study recently speculated it might be facing capacity constraints at its main assembly plant. However, the company has long since thought through what it will need to meets its obligations to the military, and is implementing a plan to smoothly ramp up production of self-propelled artillery, troop carriers and amphibious vehicles. First, it is investing $200 million over six years in new capital equipment such as robotic welders. Second, it is working with local vocational schools to train its expanding workforce in necessary skills. Third, it is spreading work across a national industrial network that includes Army depots and over a thousand industrial partners. BAE Systems execs are confident they can meet the needs of U.S. warfighters in a timely and efficient fashion, even if demand surges. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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