The M1 Abrams tank: a case study in major weapon systems acquisition and program management
Millspaugh, Kevin C.
Matthews, David F.
Stone, Mark W.
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The end of the Cold War has had a tremendous impact on the structure, size, and capabilities of the United States Armed Forces. The Defense buildup period of the early 1980's in which new programs flourished, is over. At a time when Defense dollars and resources are waning, both successful and unsuccessful acquisition programs must be closely scrutinized to learn how to most efficiently utilize current technology, private industry, and the existing industrial base. One highly-successful acquisition program worthy of study and review is the United States Army's Ml Abrams Tank Program. This program's acquisition strategy was well-planned and executed, efficiently managed, and amply supported by all constituents involved in the acquisition process. This analysis of the M1 Abrams acquisition strategy has provided numerous lessons-learned that can be practically applied to future major weapon system procurements. This study concludes that program advocacy, continuous interface between the program office and the end-user community, and continuity of key program personnel are but a few of the many reasons why the Ml Abrams family of vehicles is the most lethal, survivable, and technologically advanced main battle tank in the world today.
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