Innovative Management in the DARPA High Altitude Endurance Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Program

Phase II Experience

by Jeffrey A. Drezner, Geoffrey Sommer, Robert S. Leonard


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The U.S. military's development of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) has been hampered by cost overruns, schedule slippage, and disappointing operational results. The High Altitude Endurance UAV (HAE UAV) joint program, initiated under the direction of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), incorporates several innovative elements in its acquisition strategy that depart radically from traditional acquisition approaches. The program's development phase for the Global Hawk and DarkStar air vehicles is analyzed in this research. The HAE UAV program has experienced problems that are typical of newly implemented methods, but it has produced significant benefits, and provides lessons that could improve a wide variety of future acquisition processes.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    Analyzing the Acquisition Strategy

  • Chapter Three

    Tier II+ Global Hawk

  • Chapter Four


  • Chapter Five

    Common Ground Segment

  • Chapter Six

    Perspectives on the Acquisition Strategy

  • Chapter Seven

    Inter-Program Comparisons

  • Chapter Eight

    Observations on Phase II

  • Appendix

    Evolution of HAE UAV Program Agreements

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