NDIA President urges Congress to ready defense sector for great power competition

Vital Signs 2023

ARLINGTON, VA – NDIA’s president and CEO, the Hon. David L. Norquist addressed the House Armed Services Committee in a hearingon Wednesday, February 8, 2023, where he also launched NDIA’s flagship report on the health of the U.S. defense industrial base.

“Today, there is a mismatch between what our national strategies aim to achieve and how our defense industrial base is postured,” the Hon. David L. Norquist, President and CEO of NDIA said.

In a worrying trend, the number of firms in the defense industrial base that provide weapon systems, supplies and services to the military is shrinking, according to NDIA’s unique data-driven new report,Vital Signs 2023:“Posturing the U.S. Defense Industrial Base for Great Power Competition.”

This report offers an annual unclassified assessment of the U.S. defense industrial base (DIB). NDIA’s“Vital Signs”includes an exclusive survey of NDIA members who form the backbone of the DIB and focuses particularly on the health of the defense industrial base as it relates to military readiness.

The unique report paints a concerning picture of an American defense industry challenged – in particular – by near-peer competitor threats. Following the Cold War, the peace dividend, and many years of focus on counterinsurgency, the U.S. finds itself challenged to maintain its leadership position in renewed great power competition.

“The downward trends we outline in “Vital Signs 2023”are not consistent with posturing the defense industrial base for great power competition,” Jen Stewart, executive author of the report and Executive Vice President at NDIA said.

Erratum: Version 1, published on February 8, 2023, contained errors in charts on page 15. This PDF is Version 2 of this report, published on February 10, 2023, and contains the revised numbers on those charts.


The HASC hearing is held as follows. The full committee will meet in open session to receive testimony on the “State of the Defense Industrial Base.” 


Full Committee Hearing: “State of the Defense Industrial Base”

Wednesday, February 8, 2023

11:00 AM (EST) – 2118 Rayburn


Journalists may attend the hearing may attend in person in 2118 or watch virtually through the live stream found here: https://armedservices.house.gov/ under the “Hearings” tab.The hearing may be accessed at this link after the session has ended.

Vital Signs is available for download at NDIA.org/VitalSigns.

About NDIA

The National Defense Industrial Association (NDIA) is America's leading defense industry association promoting national security. NDIA provides a legal and ethical forum for the exchange of information between industry and government on national security issues. NDIA and its members foster the development of the most innovative and superior equipment, training, and support for warfighters and first responders through its divisions, local chapters, affiliated associations, and events. For more information, visit NDIA.org