Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Cruise missile development in the United States since the early 1970's : A case study in the determinants of weapons succession.
Author: Graham, M.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3510 0018
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 1987
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
This is an examination of the determinants of weapons succession as they have operated in the United States since the early 1970s. It takes as its subject matter the joint-service development of the modular cruise missile. both strategic and tactical. What this example also provides is a chance to study the start-up of a programme which did not initially represent a follow-on to an existing system. Moreover. the revival of cruise missile development in the UnHed States. unlike the ground-breaking programmes which had led to the atomic bomb. the ICBM and the SlBM. was achieved against a background of apathy and resistance from the armed services. This study has attempted a critique both of orthodox analyses of the acquisition of weapons. which have explained armaments as a rational response to an external threat. and of theories of bureaucratic politics. which have largely been blind to the role of industry. This study concludes that to understand the determinants of weapons succession. it is necessary to examine the social structure of defence technology. This involves examining the role of the producers of military technology (the defence prime contractors). and the consumers (government and the services) and the relationship which exists between them. The cruise missile programmes constituted a challenge both to the existing missions of the services and the influence of the dominant aerospace corporations. It was a challenge which did not succeed. The cruise missile was assimilated by the services in ways which enhanced their dominant missions which are associated with particular weapons platforms. most notably the penetrating bomber and the aircraft carrier. Joint service development of the missile was staunchly resisted and is not part of the follow-on cruise missile programmes. The attempts made by the Joint Cruise Missile Project Office to reform acquisition were unsuccessful. Design-to-cost, second production sourcing and increased competition did not control the cost of the weapon. Indeed, the increasing involvement of aerospace companies in el ectronics has meant that they have been abl e to re-assert thei r dominant position as the main defence contractors. despite a severe slump in orders in the early 1970s. Domestic attempts to curb the weapons succession process have been thwarted by the influence of its dominant institutions in the United States. Yet the same can also be seen to apply to attempts at curbing the arms build up through direct external negotiations. It is not simply that bilateral nuclear arms control negotiations have failed to reduce the demand for weaponry: arms control has become an important demand factor in the weapons succession process. stimulating new weapons developments and legitimating weapons deployments. What this study demonstrates is that, to understand the nature of the arsenal, a range of dominant institutional influences must be addressed. Reform or change will only come about if the 'social stucture l of weapons technology is first understood.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Missiles