Ellen Lord, the Pentagon’s acquisition chief, announced that disruptions to the defense industry resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic will cost nearly $20 billion. This figure is a $9 billion increase from a figure Lord cited last month, Breaking Defense reports.

The primary purpose of the potential congressional funds is to reimburse firms for disrupted supply chains and lost work hours.

“We believe we need that appropriation to maintain readiness because, if we do not get that, what we are going to find is we are not going to get the number of units delivered,” said Lord.

Furthermore, Lord said that it may take up to six months to assist struggling small parts manufacturers.

In July, leadership from the the United States’ top defense firms wrote a letter to Lord asking for billions in relief to offset work slowdowns and supply chain disruptions.

“There have been mixed reports in terms of revenue and profitability, but I would contend that most of the effects of COVID haven’t yet been seen because most companies gave their employees time off,” Lord said.

Photo by Virgin Orbit

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