In acquisitions, the Defense Department is facing a tough choice between cost cutting and ambition in technological advancement. After six years of purchasing commercial products, a new Defense Acquisition System report says that while the Pentagon has managed to save money, it has also created a technological superiority gap in the process.

“In my view, our new product pipeline is not as robust as it should be at a time when our technological superiority is being seriously challenged by potential adversaries,” Frank Kendall, defense undersecretary for acquisition, writes in the 210-page report.

He suggests that while many acquisition reforms have proved successful, cost growth should not be avoided entirely, and that locking requirements may have an adverse effect on success in future mission sets.