The Department of Defense is particularly enamored with innovation as practiced in the IT sector, most notably in places such as Silicon Valley, Boston and Austin. But the traditional defense industrial base continues to change and innovate. Take the example of combat vehicles. They are more than 100 years old. But the private companies in this space, in collaboration with the Army’s Tank and Automotive Command, continues to push the boundaries of individual vehicle technologies as well as their integration into platforms. In support of multiple programs, the combat vehicle industrial base has developed a unique set of facilities and capabilities that can be described as national treasures. One such jewel is BAE System’s Integration, Assembly and Test facility in the Detroit suburb of Sterling Heights, Michigan. I have written more on this subject in National Interest.
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