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By Steven A. Pomeroy

Steven A. Pomeroy has authored the 1st background of the yankee cellular intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), a expertise the us spent 4 many years and billions of greenbacks developing yet by no means deployed. An Untaken Road showcases how the evolution of a expertise that finally by no means existed and the politics that surrounded it prove considerably shaping American nuclear method and forces for decades.

Utilizing lately declassified records, years of expertise, and an unequalled ardour for the heritage of army applied sciences, Pomeroy has created a brand new framework at the nature of strategic guns know-how innovation. This thorough research of a “road no longer taken” is a needs to learn for these trying to comprehend the demanding situations and constraints on U.S. army weapon courses, specially whilst inter-organization pageant, family politics, strategic wishes, and new applied sciences collide.

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Extra resources for An Untaken Road: Strategy, Technology, and the Hidden History of America’s Mobile ICBMs

Sample text

They may imagine re-absorbing the interloper at some future opportunity. A political agreement may exist to keep bureaucratic peace, or competing systems may have died. The original disruptive innovation or new combat arm transitions to a context comprising sustaining innovations. Sources of momentum include the aggregate of invested manufacturers, educational institutions teaching the new science and technology (and seeking new streams of student and research revenue to pay their bills), research institutions, and the growing body of support experts.

47 Thoughtless adherence to “our way” represents rigidity. Rosen, Pierce, and Murray can be integrated with historian Thomas P. Hughes’ five-phase model of technological innovation. 48 As Hughes understood, within one overarching national program, the multitude of subprograms will be at different phases. Any historical description necessarily reduces and simplifies this messy reality. The phases overlap, and as failures arise, internal feedback loops return portions of the system’s development to an earlier phase.

It combined many major elements, including the booster rocket, complete with all its subsystems. The delivery vehicle contained the airframe, engines, guidance and control systems, and power supplies necessary for flight. The weapon intended for delivery was a small spacecraft. The body that re-entered the atmosphere, called a “re-entry vehicle,” encased the fusion weapon assembly. The re-entry vehicle encountered brutal heating and aerodynamic stresses. In addition, the humans who operated, maintained, and secured the system were critical systems, as were the networks of training schools that prepared them.

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