How ‘digital twins’ make defense supply chains more resilient

The first half of this decade has seen a dramatic upheaval within the defense ecosystem. Both military organizations and the companies that serve them have experienced major supply chain disruptions brought about by multiple factors, including the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, natural disasters and challenging economic conditions.

As a result, they now need to perform at higher levels, work more closely together, comply with challenging new mandates, and modernize legacy systems. Additionally, organizations must do this in the face of a confusing array of choices, and in a rapidly evolving landscape of emerging technologies like blockchain, robotics and artificial intelligence.


One of the emerging technologies already affecting the sector is digital twins, particularly in supply chain management. A combination of enabling technologies and analytic capabilities, digital twins produce a virtual model of a process, system, or object, informed by real-time data.

A new report from Accenture, based on interviews with senior military, defense and aerospace officials, acknowledges the benefits of digital twins for defense supply chains, including cost efficiency, situational awareness, force readiness, fleet management and sustainability.

Digital twins tap real-time and historical data sources to enable learning, reasoning, and dynamic recalibration for improved decision-making. These emerging predictive capabilities can help reduce risk and empower leaders to make more informed decisions, faster.

However, the same report also found four primary barriers to successful digital twin deployment by defense organizations seeking to explore digital twins on a path to more advanced management

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