Article was originally published on politico.com by Quint Forgey and Alexander Ward on October 7th, 2021

ROPER VERSUS THE MACHINE: And on a panel hosted by our own LARA SELIGMAN, former Air Force acquisition chief and current CEO of drone maker Volansi WILL ROPER took aim at large, lumbering U.S. defense companies and the Defense Department that “continues trying to build the old military the same way again and again.”

Trying to buy software the same way it buys aircraft carriers just doesn’t work, Roper said, which is why the behemoth defense prime contractors “cannot match the agility of the commercial sector.”

What’s really needed, Roper said, “is greater flexibility from Congress and also greater open-mindedness in the Pentagon to work differently with commercial companies whose ultimate ambition is not to become the next defense prime, but who want to support the military with their technology.”