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Arms and Innovation

Entrepreneurship and Alliances in the Twenty-First Century Defense Industry

With many of the most important new military systems of the past decade produced by small firms that won competitive government contracts, defense-industry consultant James Hasik argues in Arms and Innovation that small firms have a number of advantages relative to their bigger competitors. Such firms are marked by an entrepreneurial spirit and fewer bureaucratic obstacles, and thus can both be more responsive to changes in the environment and more strategic in their planning. This is demonstrated, Hasik shows, by such innovation in military technologies as those that protect troops from roadside bombs in Iraq and the Predator drones that fly over active war zones and that are crucial to our new war on terror.

For all their advantages, small firms also face significant challenges in access to capital and customers. To overcome such problems, they can form alliances either with each other or with larger companies. Hasik traces the trade-offs of such alliances and provides crucial insight into their promises and pitfalls.

This ground-breaking study is a significant contribution to understanding both entrepreneurship and alliances, two crucial factors in business generally. It will be of interest to readers in the defense sector as well as the wider business community.

224 pages | 48 halftones, 2 line drawings, 11 tables | 6 x 9 | © 2008

Economics and Business: Business--Business Economics and Management Studies, Business--Industry and Labor

History: History of Technology, Military History


Arms and Innovation is an important and novel contribution to the literature on how and why innovation in weapons systems takes place and the respective roles of larger and smaller firms. This is an especially important issue at a time when the Pentagon and industry focus is on military transformation.”

Robert L. Pfaltzgraff, Jr., Fletcher School, Tufts University

“Defense technology innovation and the evolution of the defense-industrial base is a critical issue as the United States continues to adapt its military for the security challenges of the 21st century. Arms and Innovation examines contemporary case studies and provides very useful insights into the dynamics driving new weapons technology development.”

Pierre Chao, Center for Strategic and International Studies

Table of Contents

1The Fast and the Many The Theoretical Background on Small Firms and Alliances in the Arms Industry

2Dream Teams and Brilliant Eyes The SBIRS Low Program, Northrop Grumman’s Acquisition of TRW, and the Implications for the Structure of the Military Space Industry

3Unmanned, Unafraid and Underscoped Success in Four Wars with the Predator Reconnaissance-Strike Drone

4Five Bombs in One Hole, and Cheaply The Joint Direct Attack Munition and the Mass Production of Precision Destruction

5Dili and the Pirates HMAS Jervis Bay and the Military Potential of Aluminum Catamarans

6 Mountains Miles Apart PowerScene, the Dayton Peace Talks, and the Demise of Cambridge Research Associates

7 Drop Your Purse Force Protection and Blast-Resistant Vehicles

8 The Two Towers Concluding Advice to Small Firms, Large Firms, and Governments


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