My answer to What standards do U.S. military weapons and equipment have to be made to?
Answer by Ken Larson:
As others have stated, Military Standards have been the norm for many years.
Having worked for over 4 decades with them I can assure you that in many cases they were very exotic and wasteful, representing a bureaucratic approach to perpetuating costly quality and support functions that were not necessary. (Witness – the toilet seat and coffee pot scandals at NASA and the white elephants along the way at the Pentagon, driven to extremes by Mil Spec engineering thinking).
Of late, the Pentagon has been utilizing commercial-off- the shelf products that are not Mil-Spec, driven primarily by cost and the fact that the Silicon Valley companies like Google, Amazon and Microsoft, to name a few, are setting the pace in security and technology.
Use of commercial components has created a market for counterfeits and uncontrolled inventories of potentially dangerous parts.
I foresee a hybrid form of Mil Spec evolving that combines the best of both worlds, deals with security, piracy, counterfeit parts and similar risks while making the most of what our high tech commercial companies can offer.
The genre will probably not be called Mil Spec, but a term that connotes the mix. The military is great at inventing acronyms. Watch for this one.