Developing Technology with Allies and Partners

  • Published
  • By Brian T. Bohan

In an era of shrinking defense budgets and increased emphasis on working with Allies and partners, the question often arises of how the United States might better collaborate with other nations for technology development. This challenge involves a number of complex issues including legal constraints, bureaucratic traditions, and US, Ally, and partner policies. In this article, Allies refers to specific nations in which the United States has a formal agreement for the mutual protection of the involved parties. Partners refers to those nations in which there is no formal treaty, though the relationship is still likely strategically and mutually beneficial.

Senior Leader Guidance

Guidance from the current US Air Force chief of staff has focused on advancing the service to ensure that it maintains a competitive edge over US adversaries. In August 2020, General Charles Q. Brown Jr. published a strategic report titled Accelerate Change or Lose, which he initially wanted to title Accelerate Change or Die.1 While he was convinced by his staff to use the softer language of lose, his original title reflects the gravity of the need for change. In his report, Brown focuses on how the Air Force must operate differently in the future to maintain the technical edge in a resource-constrained environment: “Navigating the challenging times ahead requires effective collaboration among all stakeholders to acknowledge, balance, and share risk over time—now and into the future.”2 He calls on the Air Force to change its strategy to provide the American people with “greater value at an affordable cost to the Nation’s defense.”3

In late July 2022 Brown introduced his “integrated by design” concept during a presentation to senior military leaders from Ally and partner nations.4 In his remarks he noted that this policy should not replace any current security efforts but rather serve as a means to “collaborate and make decisions together on interoperability, resource investment, information sharing, force development and strategy from the very beginning.”5 This policy, unlike that outlined in Accelerate Change or Lose, specifically calls on the United States to integrate its Allies and partners to the maximum extent possible.

Brown’s introduction of the integrated-by-design policy closely follows a July 18, 2022, memorandum from Secretary of the Air Force Frank Kendall—coauthored by Brown and then-US Space Force Chief of Space Operations John W. Raymond—that expands on information-sharing among Allies and partners.6 The memorandum aims to reverse the existing practice of using the “Not Releasable to Foreign Nationals” (NOFORN) classification for classified information as the default, with “Releasable to” (REL TO) Allies as an exception. Under the new policy, classified documents should be releasable to close Allies, with NOFORN as the exception.

In March 2022 Kendall introduced “seven operational imperatives” to focus development into several critical areas and address where he felt the United States was falling behind. As he explains, “These imperatives are just that; if we don’t get them right, we will have unacceptable operational risk.”7 The key technology areas are designed to respond to the United States’ “pacing challenge,” which he identified as “China, China, China.”8 The imperatives center on a range of capabilities, from the broad enabling technologies of space assets through air dominance and long-range strike, all the way down to the readiness of individual Airmen and Guardians. While senior leaders push for partnerships with US Allies and partners, as the next section outlines, there are still many challenges to following those directives and calls to action.

Developing Technology with Allies and Partners: Challenges

Due to a complex acquisition model, multiple layers of bureaucracy, and a multiyear budgeting process, the United States has its own challenges for technology development, even without considering adding partners and Allies into the mix. Currently, the process of technology development tends to be reactive: A threat is identified and analyzed, a solution is created, and then Allies and partners are brought into the process. In this process, classifications that were assigned to threat, analysis, and solution data need to be walked back to enable sharing with Allies and partners, and then some interface device may be needed to ensure interoperability of the solution for the countries involved.

While Brown’s integrated-by-design policy has directed bringing Allies and partners into the design cycle early, the policy is, as one analysis observes, “not institutionalized at Headquarters Air Force, a result of leaders not fully understanding its capability to build partnerships or how to invest in the program to achieve maximum efficacy.”9

Technology Readiness Levels

Today, the United States works with partners and Allies on primary technology measured at a maturity level from the stages of early research through technology demonstration. In acquisition terminology, this is considered to be the 3600 series in the Air Force, within the 6.1–6.5 DoD’s Research Development Test & Evaluation (RDT&E) appropriation categories, or funding type, and with a Technology Readiness Level (TRL) of 1–6. The TRL level refers to the technology’s level of development during the acquisition process, with TRL 1 being the lowest level of technology readiness.

Currently, the federal government only has a few programs at a higher TRL level that involves an Ally or partner. The TRL limit allows the United States to work with other nations on efforts up to the technology demonstration stage. Once the technology transitions into a specific system or subsystem it becomes solely a US development effort, and the Allies or partners are removed from the process. For example, the United States has been working with Australia, and to a lesser degree with the United Kingdom (UK), for several years on hypersonic technologies. Some of this work now falls under the 2021 AUKUS trilateral security agreement between the nations; however, the hypersonic work began well before that pact was in place.10 Even with this agreement, the technology remains at or below TRL 6 and has not become a program of record—as reaching TRL 6 does not guarantee program-of-record status—though it is closer to becoming one.

Intergovernmental Agreements

To be considered a partner for an Air Force effort, the foreign counterpart needs to be another defense entity. There are two primary means of formalizing these partnerships including a program memorandum of understanding (MOU) or an RDT&E agreement for projects; both include numerous details about the program duration, sharing levels, and classifications. The Department of Defense, by DoD Instruction 5530.03, puts limits on these agreements and stipulates that the services cannot approve their own agreements.11 All agreements must be approved by the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (USD(R&E)) and the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment (USD(A&S)), who are responsible for ensuring equity between the partner contributions.12

If the United States is not executing a project directly with a foreign government, a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA) can be used to work with foreign private industry, provided no money is transferred. But without a money transfer there is no incentive for the foreign for-profit corporation to work with the US military.

In a case where money is exchanged, the foreign government where the company is located must also be involved. This requirement has led to the development of accelerator units within foreign services, such as the UK Ministry of Defence (MOD), to help broker these arrangements.13 Additionally, the United States cannot share classified information directly with a foreign corporation; however, it can share such information with a foreign government which in turn can share it with a corporation within country, assuming the corporation is vetted in the same way as, for example, defense contractors are vetted in the United States. An additional limitation to this process is that if the foreign government does not have the same needs and requirements as the United States, it is unlikely to serve in the capacity of intermediary outlined above.14

The US government can also purchase foreign-made commercial off-the-shelf equipment through the Foreign Comparative Test program. Under this program, if a piece of equipment meets all US-specified requirements, then it can become fielded US equipment. Additionally, the Department of Defense has reciprocal defense procurement agreements with 27 countries.15 Such agreements allow the United States to accept systems from these countries as if they were made in America or allow foreign companies to compete on a request for proposal. While the agreements exist, the process on how to implement them into standard acquisition practice does not. To the knowledge of the author, such agreements have never been exercised.16

The legal authority for partnerships and agreements for technology development is covered in 10 US Code § 2350a, Cooperative Research and Development Agreements: NATO Organizations; Allied and Friendly Foreign Countries, and 22 US Code § 2767, Authority of President to Enter into Cooperative Projects with Friendly Foreign Countries. The Title 10 code is used in agreements when no money is transferred, and the Title 22 code is employed when transferring, pooling, or giving money. Both codes limit who the partner can be based on State Department designations, whether the partner is a NATO affiliate, a non-NATO ally, or a Friendly Foreign Country.

These codes do not state that these partnerships need to be made government-to-government; however, that condition was assumed years ago and has now become part of the understanding. These codes also do not allow the US military to directly tap into foreign innovation without foreign government sponsorship.

The Headquarters Air Force A5/7 Allies and Partners Integration team recently submitted a request to change the wording of the codes to allow greater access to work with foreign industry. Currently the law uses the term conventional defense capability when specifying what technology can be acquired.17 Yet many foreign companies are developing technology not specific to defense that the United States could use within a military system.

Additionally, the Allies and Partners Integration team is pushing to change the delegation of determination for partner agreements down to the level of the services rather than within the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD), since the services are closer to the need and they are the ones funding the agreement. According to the Air Force team, OSD is resolutely opposed to these proposed changes, as OSD is concerned it would lose oversight of the projects and that it would result in duplication of effort. But because these types of agreements are managed at the Ministry of Defence level in the Ally or partner nations, these entities could advise if duplication were occurring. Additionally, OSD is concerned about the amount of work required to delegate down this authority, including that of educating the services on the changes involved.18

Innovation Challenges—Leading Nations

While the United States has created innovation cells, science and technology labs, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), and many other similar units designed to create and/or incubate innovation, its primary Allies and partners do not follow this same practice. These countries typically buy what they need if it is available, perhaps with minor development done during acquisition, and only a small number of native innovation teams exist.

The reason for this is not a lack of creativity or ability on the part of the Allies, but rather an issue of funding. As one Royal Air Force group captain stated, the “United Kingdom just doesn't have the scale and buying power of the US Air Force.”19 The UK MOD, rather than the services, controls the major programs—for example, the F-35—and provides a top-down direction. Each service does not work on individual efforts. There are some smaller defense innovation units in the UK, as well as the Defense Science & Technology Laboratory, but these units do not operate near the scale of the United States, and all report to the MOD, not a particular service.

Based on personal conversations with representatives from the UK and Australia, this article has determined that Australia appears to have a larger innovation base compared to the UK, with most of these innovation units stemming from academic research at the countries’ 41 universities.20 Unlike the United States, which invests heavily across the full spectrum of technology, Australia is focused on niche technology areas where they can make the biggest contributions.21

In addition to hypersonics research, it is also a global leader in quantum computing, directed energy, autonomy, advanced materials, over-the-horizon radar, active electronic arrays, and select biotech. Australia has a strong small business base, with many of these businesses developing technology originating in the academic community. Because a lack of venture capital in the country prevents many of these small businesses from growing, there are no large defense contractors, and those operating in the area are subsidiaries of the major prime contractors from the United States or UK.22

Australian embassy officials refer to the major challenge Australia faces when attempting to partner with the United States on technology as International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) tainting. ITAR is an export control regulation for military technologies overseen by the State Department.23 In this scenario, Australia begins development of a technology with military application, and then the United States becomes involved while contributing a small fraction of additional intellectual property. The US government then determines the program is US-connected and tacks on an ITAR restriction, which limits the utility and sales opportunity for the Australian developers. To promote collaboration, this issue would need to be addressed, as there is currently no economic benefit for Australian companies to participate in technology development with the United States.24

Innovation Challenges—Less Technologically Advanced Nations

Partnering with nations with less GDP on technology development is limited by DoD Instruction 5530.03 and the USD(R&E) and the USD(A&S) requirement for equitable input into the partnership. Many of these nations cannot afford to contribute on par with the United States, meaning these partnerships could be rejected. While this requirement has been relaxed in recent years, it is still a limiting factor.25 This becomes somewhat of a catch-22, leaving these nations perpetually behind in technology, operating outdated aircraft and weapons.

Moreover, this disparity in technology with the United States and its more advanced Allies makes joint operations challenging from an interoperability perspective. The inferior technology puts less technologically advanced nations at greater risk during joint operations, as they are vulnerable to becoming targets of aggression from more advanced hostile nations. These smaller nations cannot afford to develop new technology; they cannot meet the threshold levels for partnership with the United States to advance technology; and they do not have the resources to purchase new fifth-generation technology from the more advanced nations, leaving few options for their own advancement.

Disruptive Technology

The development of disruptive technology leads to challenges when it comes to funding and incorporating it into a program or production. Disruptive technology by definition cannot be planned for and is often presented to the Department of Defense outside of normal funding programming—program objective memorandum (POM)—cycles. This means that a potentially beneficial disruptive technology is shelved, waiting for funding for two to four years, or an existing program of record that followed the traditional funding cycle is defunded to support the new technology.26 The second option is unlikely to happen in a bureaucratic organization, and so the question of how the military finds funding for an unexpected program in a fiscally constrained environment remains.

In instances where one of the military services does not require specific technology that was being developed, this same problem can also be seen in transitioning technology from a lab, DARPA programs often completed outside the budgeting process, and many of the innovation units—for example, AFWERX, the US Air Force’s main innovation program—that offer seed money to kick off research but then lacks the larger funding required to support successful seeds or continue programs that are no longer eligible for further innovation seed funding.27 The defense technology community refers to this absence in transition as the valley of death, which “is often an unintended byproduct of an aging acquisition system that wasn’t built for the speed of modern innovation.”28

The United States spends millions of dollars on initial technology development through academia, DARPA, small-business innovation research, and other similar initiatives. In these cases, the government pays to attain a proof-of-concept demo while many of these projects fail to progress beyond that point—the valley of death—and not always because they were not successful.

Air Force leadership is dedicated to changing the way the Air Force advances technology; however, several challenges, outlined above, prohibit such change. While innovation is the directed path forward, bureaucracy works against progress by maintaining the status quo. The United States’ major Allies are ready and willing to participate, but the federal government cannot step out of its own way to streamline this process.

This process has been likened to death by a thousand paper cuts, slowing the momentum of bringing technology to the warfighter.29 Many of the process limitations the United States has put in place are designed to curtail the risk of technology secrets getting out and to protect current technology; however, the United States has reached a point of reliance on its Allies and partners where these same limitations lead to the risk of losing a capability or advantage arising from sharing the technology or the development of technology. The United States thus needs to ask, Which of these risks is more damaging?

Developing Technology with Allies and Partners: Solutions

Within US processes, the most wasteful action occurs within the so-called valley of death. And it is here that a solution exists to move projects from an innovative concept to a program of record. To help make the initial US investment into demonstrations or innovation seeds cost-effective, successful programs need to be transitioned to advanced development efforts or programs of record that can ultimately lead to production at scale.

In contrast with the traditional acquisition process, the US government has made some strides in alleviating this problem. For example, one new way it has achieved this transition while involving its Allies is through the Coalition Warfare Program.30 This program exists at the OSD level to provide supplemental funding from both US and partner-nation investment. The Office of the Secretary of Defense also recently established the Office of Strategic Capital for a similar purpose without the inclusion of Allies and partners.31

Yet the US government needs to do much more. For situations where the United States cannot or will not for whatever reason manage the program, the following sections offer two potential solutions to keep beneficial programs moving forward while working within the current legal and bureaucratic framework and meeting the integrated-by-design initiative to incorporate US Allies and partners in a way that is advantageous for all parties.

Allied Development of US-Initiated Technology

DARPA’s Colonel Charles Bris-Bois, USAF, noted that agency commonly spends considerable money developing a technology through demonstration, only to have it rejected for military use.32 For example, DARPA spent $150 million to develop an autonomous helicopter. The program was supported and monitored by the Army, but at the time of the program’s completion, the Army had just purchased several alternate platforms and did not have additional funds to further develop the helicopter. The system was offered to the Air Force, but it was in a similar funding situation due to its recent purchases. The result is a helicopter control system that can be piloted or piloted with a robust auto-pilot feature or a full autonomy option, all selectable on the fly, that has no home.

While this is just one current example, this same outcome is a common occurrence because DARPA lacks the ability to produce systems at scale and relies on transition to the services to achieve this. As discussed above, the budgeting cycles and the uncertain timelines of the completion of DARPA programs make the matching of funds difficult. Also, because of the limitation of DARPA to produce at scale, Headquarters Air Force requirements teams do not factor in DARPA technology when planning, because it is unclear if such technology will ever be fully realized.

Many of the additional challenges related to the legality of technology development with Allies and partners are alleviated if such development does not involve a recognized US military system and an official exchange of money. In a situation such as the one described above, if DARPA could not transition a system to the US military services, the United States could offer the development data package to an Ally or partner for further development instead. The partner would benefit from the initial US expenditure on development and demonstration while accepting the responsibility to advance the program, using its own expertise and industry.

To increase the odds of success, the United States could prioritize an Ally with niche expertise applicable to the specific program, thus potentially producing a system better than what it would produce as a program of record. The US government would then have the opportunity to purchase the system from that Ally at a later date through a reciprocal defense procurement agreement if desired. This arrangement avoids the limitations of the international agreement title codes, cooperative research and development agreements, memoranda of understanding, and RDT&E agreements, including the need for higher-level approvals.

This model could be expanded to additional programs developed by federal research labs and other government entities where the government owns the intellectual property. Many of the smaller innovation cells fund development by private small businesses where the government does not own the intellectual property. As such, these programs would be excluded from this model.

One legal/regulatory concern that the government would need to address with this model is the issue of ITAR tainting discussed previously.33 As the United States is not the final developer or seller of the completed technologies, coordination would be required with the State Department to ensure the ITAR restrictions would not apply. The added ITAR designation would limit the ability of the foreign organization to sell the product or slight variations to other Ally and partner nations, thus eliminating the economic benefits of this model to those countries.

Because of the scale and complexity of the DARPA-initiated programs, these efforts would likely be transitioned to an Ally or partner with greater budget and industrial base resources over another with less resources due to the ability to fund the additional development or access to industry. The size of military budgets should not be a specific limiting factor, however, as in some cases the United States financially supports economically smaller nations with additional funding that could be used for this effort at those countries’ discretion. Also, depending on the program area, a nation with a smaller defense budget or smaller industrial base may be more capable than one with a larger budget and/or industrial base. An example of this is a cyber defense program. The tiny country of Estonia excels in this area and would be a better option than any of the United States’ larger Allies.

This solution could be implemented by the Industrial Base Policy Office which falls within USD(A&S). The mission of this office is to “strengthen key international partnerships through cooperative Acquisition & Sustainment initiatives to improve interoperability and sharpen the warfighter’s technological edge.”34 This office would have the authority to transfer the technical data packages for each program as part of existing work with Allies and partners on acquisition-related efforts. The office would manage the logistics, serving as the conduit to transition the data to foreign partners and would work with or influence the State Department if there was pushback on the ITAR restrictions that may limit this model.

Partnering with Pacific Region Allies

A second solution entails collaborating with Allies and partners in the Indo-Pacific region.35 The United States provides money to several smaller countries, including Vietnam and the Philippines, to support their national defense. These countries typically have outdated platforms and weapons and do not have enough money, even with US aid, to purchase fifth-generation platforms. The United States could, however, sell fourth-generation platforms, using the money provided to these nations.

The added benefit of partnerships with Indo-Pacific region nations is their proximity to China. The United States can also give weapons systems to nations as done with Ukraine. In these cases, there would be no money required from the Ally or partner. This could be a viable option for Vietnam or the Philippines or additional Allies or partners that do not currently receive aid or are neutral between the United States and China.

Beginning in May 2023, the US government allowed Allies to provide F-16 aircraft to Ukraine.36 The F-16, which now has precedence in proliferation due to the Ukraine decision, would be the most likely fourth-generation aircraft system provided in the solution proposed above. Enhancing the capabilities of US Indo-Pacific Command-region Allies and partners and increasing the numbers of US-compatible aircraft near the first island chain has substantial strategic significance.

This model would have several benefits for both the United States and the Allied or partner nation. First, the Ally or partner would receive aircraft and/or missile defense capabilities that would likely greatly exceed its current capabilities, while not proliferating the US state-of-the-art fifth-generation systems.

Second, the United States gains potentially significant numbers of compatible aircraft in the Indo-Pacific region should a conflict occur. Third, some of these island nations are neutral when it comes to choosing sides between the United States and China. This arrangement could sway their allegiance to the United States; however, this allegiance would need to be guaranteed before platforms were sold.

Fourth, to ensure an equitable relationship with the United States, the government could allow Ally or partner nations to use their native industrial base to enhance select systems on these fourth-generation platforms while maintaining backward compatibility. This means these platforms get state-of-the-art enhancements, possibly also paid for with US aid, while maintaining compatibility. As such upgrades by their nature exceed the capabilities of the current systems, the federal government could buy the specific systems for integration into US operational fourth-generation platforms. The purchase option creates a business case for the industry in the Ally or partner nation. The same ITAR modification discussed above would need to apply here also as to not limit the business opportunity for the Ally or partner. In many cases the United States already provides this aid money. Why not attain a greater strategic benefit out of it?

This solution involves foreign military sales (FMS) of existing systems, which is commonplace for the United States and avoids the major concerns of the codevelopment of technology outlined above. An ideal sponsor for this solution is the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, responsible for administering the FMS program for the Department of Defense. The agency would continue to manage the FMS program which would provide the platforms to FMS partner nations, but this proposal may also require expansion to additional strategic countries. In addition to FMS, the Industrial Base Policy Office would also need to be a conduit for the technical interface information required to make the upgrades to the platforms.

While this proposal has strong merits, it is not without challenges that would need to be addressed.37 In the case of Pacific Island nations, these countries prioritize, for example, feeding their populations and climate change over national defense. Additionally, these nations tend to believe they could remain neutral and unaffected if war breaks out with China.

 Also, these countries may not want to adopt the large logistics and security framework the United States requires to protect its technology as part of FMS, even its older fourth-generation platforms. There are strict security protocols for operations, storage, and basing of these platforms. Finally, due to security restrictions, it is not clear if the data packages and interface documents required for the countries to enhance systems on the platforms could be provided. Nevertheless, this model may work for Australia, which has signaled interest, where it could enhance the US systems. Even if Allies and partners along the first or second island chains or on the mainland near China only moderately accepted this part of the solution, any additional US-compatible aircraft in the region would be significant.

This partnership model could be repeated ad nauseum as the United States develops new technologies, thus allowing the sharing of older systems. But there is a real shelf life on the strategic benefit of this model in a conflict with China. As soon as China begins an invasion of Taiwan or initiates other regional hostilities, it is too late.

Examples of Success

Israel’s upgrades to imported military tanks between the 1950s and the 1980s and Saudi Arabia’s and Qatar’s recent upgrades of the US F-15C were not part of formal processes intended for strategic development or foreign engagement. Yet, these historical examples show the ability of a foreign military to successfully develop or enhance technology obtained from the United States.

Israel’s enhancement of foreign tanks began in the mid-1950s when it acquired American M4 Sherman tanks. Its modified version was called the Super Sherman or the Isherman, short for the Israeli Sherman. The early project up-gunned the M4 Sherman with the 75mm tank gun from a French AMX-13. This modification used the superior armored hull of the M4 Sherman with the superior gun of the AMX-13, thus creating the M-50 Super Sherman. Later models also made enhancements to the Sherman stock engines to provide improved off-road performance while using safer, lower-flammable diesel fuel. In the 1980s, these variations of the Sherman tanks were made using the more powerful French 105mm Modèle F1 gun. This upgrade resulted in a tank designated the M-51.38

More recently, in late 2012, Boeing was awarded a $4 billion contract to upgrade the Royal Saudi Air Force F-15C/D following a previous $3.7 billion contract for upgrades to the same platforms earlier that year. These upgrades redesignated its aircraft the F-15SA (Saudi Advanced configuration). The upgrades included “APG-63(v)3 active electronically scanned array radar, BAE System-built digital electronic warfare system (DEWS), and a Lockheed Martin AAS-42 infrared search-and-track (IRST) system.”39 The system enhancements enabled long-range, high-speed interdiction missions without the need for specific electronic warfare platforms as part of the strike package. In 2021, Qatar ordered a similarly upgraded F-15, designated the F-15QA for the Qatar Advanced version. These foreign upgrades ultimately made the nations’ F-15s more capable than the US models that, in turn, drove the production of the F-15EX for US use.

These examples demonstrate foreign militaries successfully using US systems as the base platform and advancing the capabilities through the integration of native or other foreign technologies, or working with the original prime contractor to make a more lethal system. In the case of the F-15, the resulting upgrade to the US operational system leveraged upgrades requested, integrated, and tested by partner nations.


The recommendations above present options to enable US Allies to develop technology originated and demonstrated but not pursued by the United States, and to enhance the military capabilities of smaller, strategically located Allies or partners in the Indo-Pacific region while better posturing the United States for a conflict with China. The ultimate goal for improving defense acquisitions is an upcycle system that can make use of what would currently be wasted investment, and where the United States has the ability to openly collaborate with its Allies and partners on technology development as if they were a US entity.

The United States will continue to invest in innovation seeds; some will not prove successful, and most will face challenges crossing the valley of death. Additionally, changes to several sections of US law and policy, including inter-governmental agreements, Title 10, and Title 22, are required to make open technology development with Allies and partners happen. As a result, the United States needs an innovative option, such as that recommended above, that circumvents the current legal and bureaucratic restrictions to find ways to collaborate with Allies and partners now, and in such a way as to minimize losses in the acquisition system.

Lieutenant Colonel Brian T. Bohan, USAF, PhD, is the deputy chief, Innovative Solutions and Disruptive Technologies team, at Headquarters Air Force.

The views and opinions expressed or implied herein are those of the authors and should not be construed as carrying the official sanction of the Department of Defense, the Department of the Air Force, Air Education and Training Command, Air University, or other agencies or departments of the US government.

1 Charles Q. Brown Jr., Accelerate Change or Lose (Washington, DC: Chief of Staff, US Air Force, August 2020), https://www.af.mil/.

2 Brown, 5.

3 Brown.

4 Charles Q. Brown Jr., “GASCC Keynote – As Delivered,” accessed May 31, 2023, https://www.af.mil/.

5 Brown, “GASCC Keynote”; and Ethan Brown and Jonathan Magill, “Integrated by Design: Building a Partner Air Force,” War on the Rocks, October 14, 2022, https://warontherocks.com/.

6 Frank Kendall, Charles Q. Brown Jr., and John W. Raymond, “Expanding Information Sharing with Allies and Partners: Amplifying Guidance for Use of ‘Not Releasable to Foreign Nationals’ Dissemination Control Marking,” internal US Air Force (USAF) memorandum, July 18, 2022.

7 Charles Pope, “Kendall Details ‘Seven Operational Imperatives’ and How They Forge the Future Force,” USAF (website), Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs, March 3, 2022, https://www.af.mil/.

8 Pope.

9 Brown and Magill, “Integrated by Design.”

10 “Joint Leaders Statement on AUKUS,” press release, The White House, September 15, 2021, www.whitehouse.gov/.

11 Office of the General Counsel of the Department of Defense (DoD), DoD Instruction 5530.03, International Agreements, effective December 4, 2019, https://www.esd.whs.mil/.

12 Wes Martin (Headquarters Air Force HAF A5/7 Allies and Partners Integration), interviews with the author, Pentagon, September 23, 2022; and Pentagon, October 6, 2022.

13 Robert “Chuck” Norris (group captain, Royal Air Force), interview with the author, Pentagon, October 6, 2022.

14 Martin, interview, October 6, 2022.

15 Defense Pricing and Contracting, Assistant Secretary of Defense (Acquisition) (ASD(A)), “International Contracting - Reciprocal Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy Memoranda of Understanding,” ASD(A), n.d., https://www.acq.osd.mil/.

16 Martin, interview, October 6, 2022.

17 Cooperative Research and Development Agreements: NATO Organizations; Allied and Friendly Foreign Countries, U.S.C. § 2350a; and Authority of President to Enter into Cooperative Projects with Friendly Foreign Countries, U.S.C. § 2767.

18 Martin, interview, October 6, 2022.

19 Norris, interview.

20 Ninh Duong (Minister Counsellor Defence Science & Technology, Embassy of Australia, Washington, DC) and Stephen Elgar (Counsellor Defence Science & Technology, Embassy of Australia, Washington, DC), interview with the author, Australian Embassy, Washington, DC, November 23, 2022; and Norris, interview.

21 Duong and Elgar.

22 Duong and Elgar.

23 Duong and Elgar.

24 Duong and Elgar.

25 Martin, interview, October 6, 2022.

26 Author’s personal experience.

27 Charles “BB” Bris-Bois (senior advisor, technology transition, DARPA), Zoom interview with the author, October 7, 2022.

28 John Dillard and Steve Stark “Understanding Acquisition: The Valley of Death,” United States Army Acquisition Support Center, October 6 2021, https://asc.army.mil/.

29 Duong and Elgar, interview.

30 Director, International Cooperation (IC), “Overview of the Coalition Warfare Program,” IC, DoD, https://www.acq.osd.mil/.

31 “Secretary of Defense Establishes Office of Strategic Capital,” press release, DoD, December 1, 2022, https://www.defense.gov/.

32 Bris-Bois, interview.

33 Duong and Elgar, interview.

34 “Director, International Cooperation,” International Cooperation Office, DoD (website), n.d., accessed June 12, 2023, https://www.acq.osd.mil/.

35 Bris-Bois, interview.

36 Jonathan Beale and James Gregory, “F-16 Fighter Jets: Biden to Let Allies Supply Warplanes in Major Boost for Kyiv,” BBC News, May 20, 2023, https://www.bbc.com/.

37 Duong and Elgar, interview.

38 M. Givati, The Armor Craftsmen: The History of the 7100 Restoration and Maintenance Center (Israel: Ministry of Defence, 1998).

39 “Boeing To Upgrade Additional RSAF F-15 Fighter Jets,” Air Force Technology, November 4, 2012, www.airforce-technology.com/.

The views and opinions expressed or implied herein are those of the authors and should not be construed as carrying the official sanction of the Department of Defense, the Department of the Air Force, Air Education and Training Command, Air University, or other agencies or departments of the US government.


The views and opinions expressed or implied herein are those of the authors and should not be construed as carrying the official sanction of the Department of Defense, the Department of the Air Force, Air Education and Training Command, Air University, or other agencies or departments of the US government. See our Publication Ethics Statement.