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New warning signs for U.S. defense industry

A US Patriot missile defense system during a joint Israeli-US military exercise
U.S. missile defense system during U.S.-Israeli military exercise. Photo: Jack Guez/AFP/Getty Images

The U.S. has increased its missile use in recent years, and the weaknesses in the industrial base may hurt its ability to support that level of munition use going forward.

Why it matters: America faces national security threats around the world from countries like Iran, Russia, and North Korea, and the Pentagon's FY2017 Annual Industrial Capabilities Report paints a somewhat bleak picture of U.S. munition capabilities, identifying "critical components within the missile sector industrial base...at risk." Defense News' Aaron Mehta identifies the vulnerabilities as lack of "diversity," and "knowledge on how to develop new systems."