Undersea dominance is an enduring capability that is a key foundation of our national defense, as articulated by the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Chief of Naval Operations. That dominance is now under threat by the reemergence and rise of near-peer adversaries. Rapidly advancing technology is making the undersea domain more accessible by both military and non-governmental entities and the lines between security sector and commercial capabilities are blurring more every day. Authoritarian governments have the ability to focus all instruments of national power to advance capabilities in specific technological areas in ways that a democratic capitalistic society like the United States does not.
The U.S. government does not have the ability to direct industry or academic investment in the ways some competitors do so instead, it must find innovative ways to incentivize collaboration, cooperation, and investment between government, industry, and academia in order to compete and stay ahead of growing threats. The National Institute for Undersea Vehicle Technology is one of these innovative efforts that can align investment across government, industry, and academia for U.S. national security and national economic advancement.