Vital Signs Report: Defense Industry Struggling with Conflicting Pressures

2024 Vital Signs


ARLINGTON, VA – For the U.S. Defense Industrial Base (U.S. DIB), the pressure to accelerate is being met with equal pressure to reduce speed as it faces greater regulatory burdens and ongoing supply chain issues amid global security challenges, according to NDIA’s flagship 2024 Vital Signs report.

As a nation, we’re pressing on both the gas and the brake pedals,” said NDIA President and CEO, David Norquist. “This report outlines needed changes to strengthen U.S. national security and the U.S. DIB.”

Given the importance of strengthening the partnership between government and industry, the 2024 Vital Signs Survey invited government officials to participate for the first time.  The survey gathered input from over 1,300 respondents, including more than 500 government and 800 private sector respondents from small, medium, and large companies as well as universities, research institutions, and non-governmental organizations. Also new in this year’s report are 40 recommendations for actions the executive and legislative branches should take to rebuild the resilience of the U.S. DIB.

For example, the 2024 Vital Signs report recommendations define the biggest current acquisition and regulatory challenges, the consequences of delayed and insufficient funding, the importance of reducing intellectual property rights concerns, the steps to enhance workforce recruiting and retention, the incentives required for additional capital investments, and the importance in financially investing in the mitigating supply chain vulnerabilities.

Now is the time to rebuild the resilience and readiness of the U.S. DIB so it can be responsive to U.S. policymakers.  This will require government investment measured in billions, not millions. Given the stakes in great power competition, we can afford to be ready,” said Jennifer Stewart, NDIA’s Executive Vice President for Strategy and Policy.

Vital Signs is available for download at

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