Procurement: January 16, 2001

Archives

The US Marines wanted a new lightweight reconnaissance drone, and they wanted it in a hurry. The drone was called Dragon Eye. The Marines want it by 2002, which is three years after development began. Normally, these things take six to eight years before the troops get the item. What was different with Dragon Eye was that the Marines and the developers realized what made these projects drag on for so long. Changes. A little modification here, a new feature there and things just drag on and on. So with Dragon Eye, the Marines made up their wish list; a 4.5 pound aircraft that broke down into five pieces so it can be carried in a backpack. The two electric motors can operate for 17 minutes on a rechargeable battery (allowing it to travel about ten kilometers) or one hour with a non-rechargeable battery.) The ground control system is wearable, and a four by six inch video display can be worn on the arm. The drone is launched the same way paper airplanes are. The developers agreed to make the Dragon Eye according to the Marines specifications. But there was one catch. There could be no changes or modifications. None. As a result, work proceeded at a rapid clip. A look at wartime research and development finds that the same quick results were obtained because there was, literally, no time for modifications. Changes and upgrades were made after the first version went off to the troops. For some odd reason, this eminently practical approach never became popular in peacetime. 

 


Article Archive

Procurement: Current 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999 


X

ad
0
20

Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close