"Big Five" Lessons for Today and Tomorrow
INSTITUTE FOR DEFENSE ANALYSES ALEXANDRIA VA
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Americas preeminent ground combat capability is the result of the Big Five acquisition that produced the Abrams main battle tank, the Bradley fighting vehicle, the Apache attack helicopter, the Black Hawk utility helicopter, and the Patriot air defense missile system. The battle-proven capability of the Big Five systems -- the mainstay of the Armys combat formations today -- demonstrates the success of these programs, both individually and collectively. Clearly, the Big Five acquisition is perceived as the gold standard. Like most legends, the legend of the Big Five has its roots in actual events but also grows grander as memories of missteps, challenges, and problems fade in light of the final successes that continue to appear and reinforce their greatness. An examination of these programs demonstrates that while unequivocally successful in the end, each program would not have been described as successful at some point in its acquisition. They all had to overcome major challenges and morph into what we know them as today. The salient points are then passed through the filter of environmental changes threat, fiscal, industry, process, leadership, etc. over the past decades to produce lessons learned and recommendations for current and future acquisitions.
- Antimissile Defense Systems
- Logistics, Military Facilities and Supplies
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics
- Combat Vehicles