Rear Admiral Meyer’s philosophy of “Build a Little, Test a Little, Learn a Lot” drove the testing and milestones of the Aegis system. Having witnessed problems with existing missile systems related to a lack of testing, tests that incorporated too many objectives, and failed system integration efforts requiring massive “get well” programs, he drove the project to conduct numerous tests in development and in delivery of production gear prior to ship installation.
That philosophy carried over into the sea-based ballistic missile defense (BMD) program, using the Aegis weapons system at its core. The following are scenes from the development of Aegis BMD — from the designing board to sea. A clear example of the results of following that philosophy may be seen in the sequence of test shots over the final two minutes of the film — the early intercepts aimed for the center of mass of the target. As the tests progressed, watch how the aim point is walked forward towards the harder to hit but more important (simulated) warhead section of the target:

Video link: Aegis BMD – Beginnings

Posted by SteelJaw in Navy
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  • YNSN

    God… I miss ships. I need to get out of AFG and get back to Sea.

    The Admiral is right. Obviously. I just wish the same mindset could be found in building hulls and the rest of the ship.

    I wish I could see what designing a ship was really like. It just strikes me that you could nominally fund nascent technologies for a decade or so, let them take their course and time and one day it would all come to fruition. Say two billion spread across 10 programs over 10 years (for example). After a decade (or less) pick the 3 most promising ones and bump up their funding. Do all this in parallel. I mean, am I missing something? Real life imperatives aside, that should be the way forward.

    Is it things have changed? I am of the impression that it was once the Navy that really drove innovation at sea. Now, it seems like the Navy calls something like traveling salesmen into a boardroom and they hock their stuff at us. Am I completely off the mark?

    Regardless, SJS another superb post. I always enjoy your writing.

  • Chuck Hill

    Some Congressionally Mandated “reforms” changed the way the Navy went about procurements and resulted in the elimination of a lot of the in-house expertise. The same concepts gave the Coast Guard “Deepwater.”

  • UltimaRatioReg


    Time to reconstitute BuShips?

  • Chuck Hill

    “Let’s hire the people who sell stuff to tell us what we need.”

    Whoever thought that was a good idea?

  • Was that the reason for the construction of the “Cornfield Cruiser” in southern NJ back in the 1970s?

  • Retired Now

    But, Northrop and GenDynamics have ISO 9001 (self) “certification” so QUALITY is just automatically “built in”.

    So the NAVY does not need to go to the trouble of Inspecting during construction. We just “know” that the ISO PROCESS will result in excellent quality.

    PROCESS is more important than PRODUCT !

    Northrop’s Motto”Process is our only product”.

  • TheOne

    ““Let’s hire the people who sell stuff to tell us what we need.”

    Whoever thought that was a good idea?”

    Ummm, the people who sell stuff to us.

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