Technological innovation roles and implications in Army Aviation Special Operations
Polen, Richard A.
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The Global War on Terror and recent shift of focus from conventional warfare to unconventional warfare reflects a need to replace Cold War era helicopters. Case studies including the development of the AH-56 Cheyenne, OH-13 Sioux, and the MH-60 Direct Action Penetrator provide reference points to develop a general premise of the aviation community's ability to capitalize on technological innovations. Examining the process of innovation throughout the history of Army Aviation will provide a framework to apply the concepts of innovation to the present and future operations of Army Aviation Special Operations. The diffusion of innovation theory identifies that 2.5% of the whole represents the true innovators. The size of the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR), representing approximately 5% of the entire Army aircraft inventory, is analogous with the concept of true innovators. The 160th SOAR is a great option for the integration of an advanced commercial aircraft, meeting the requirement for a specialized aircraft in Special Operations and the advancement of aircraft for the conventional Army.
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