Defense Acquisition History Series
CMH Pub 51-2-1, Paper
2008; 184 pages
GPO S/N: 008-029-00469-1
Sources of Weapon Systems Innovation in the Department of Defense explores the historical evolution of this process during the Cold War, focusing specifically on the content, scope, organizational structure, and management of in-house R&D in the Army, the Navy, and the Air Force.
This monograph is not a comprehensive history of military R&D, but rather a broad historical overview of changing institutional patterns of technological innovation within the Defense Department's major weapons laboratories. It examines many types of research and development including fundamental studies of the physics of metals in the Army's primary manufacturing arsenals, rocket and missile development at the Naval Ordnance Test Station in California, testing and evaluation of aircraft engines and rocket motors at the Air Force's Arnold Engineering Development Center in Tennessee, and a host of other R&D activities at laboratories located throughout the United States. How the military services accommodated changes in management policy and balanced the corresponding growth of R&D outsourcing at the expense of maintaining a viable in-house capability is the central theme of this book. While this monograph only scratches the surface of such an ambitious endeavor, it does attempt to provide a general interpretive framework that historians will hopefully find useful as a guide to further research.
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