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The lists of differences went on and on. We also found that operational performance requirements would levy features and capabilities that the sister service just did not need, and to build in all these capabilities into a common system would put unneeded logistics and operational costs on both services. The Navy senior representatives sent their report back to the office of the Secretary of the Navy, recommending strongly against the common system.

The Army managers were also against commonality, but were concerned that if some token amount of commonality were not recommended it might go hard on the SAM-D project, so they came up with a possible area of commonality - computers. At the working level the Army was looking forward to developing their own tactical computer, and it did not endear me to my Army coworkers when I told them we had built an air cooled version of our shipboard CPB unit computer for the Marine Tactical Data System helicopter huts. But, again we found that fielding a computer that incorporated all Army and Navy environmental requirements in one box would be expensive.

We presented our analysis to our seniors, and they dropped the token commonality offering. In the sequestered environment of Huntsville the Navy group was able to think through a number of unresolved aspects of the Advanced Surface Missile System. Furthermore, there was a fertile exchange of ideas between the Army and Navy workers, and probably a little bit of sister service thinking and concepts rubbed off into each system development.

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Secretary McNamara eventually let the Army and Navy go their separate ways. On 1 May the Bureau of Ships and the Bureau of Naval Weapons were disestablished and the headquarters components of each, minus their engineering organizations, were transformed into the Naval Ship Systems Command and the Naval Ordnance Systems Command respectively. The ASMS project proceeded at a modestly low level of effort doing more system definition work, assessing technologies, and writing contract specifications.

The specifications were packaged into a request for contract definition proposals, and on 10 October the Boeing Company, General Dynamics, and RCA were awarded about six million dollars each to prepare contract definitions for ASMS. The Talos, Terrier, and Tartar systems had been developed under stress and a sense of urgency because of the threat of new Soviet high speed jet airplanes and standoff missiles, but ASMS did not seem to have that same environment of urgency.

On 21 October the project got an infusion of urgency when the Israeli destroyer Eilat was sunk by two Soviet -built Styx anti-ship missiles fired from Egyptian torpedo boats.

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This made it clear to the U. Navy that anti-ship missiles were a definite threat to the USN surface fleet and that the Navy needed a surface missile system with extraordinary short detection, processing, and reaction time, and that system needed a high probability of success in bringing down a hostile anti-ship missile.

The shot of adrenaline to the ASMS project had some effect, but was not as stimulating as it could have been. There were still many senior officers in the Naval Ordnance Systems Command who still believed the route to surface missile system improvement was through evolution of existing systems, and they were less than enthusiastic about accelerating ASMS. Furthermore there were high ranking officers in OPNAV and in the fleet who had experienced first hand, or had seen, the troubles with the Enterprise and Long Beach electronically scanned planar array radars, especially their problems with passing targets around the corners of the arrays in heavy seas.

To them the phrases 'electronically scanned' and 'planar array' were dirty words and they were not interested in perpetuating the technology. The ASMS project proceeded at a moderate pace undergoing continuous definition and review cycles.

At the end of each cycle the system seemed to have grown in features and capabilities, but at the expense of increased complexity, size, and corresponding weight. Many of these new 'nice to have features' were added in order to humor officials in the review cycle who kept coming up with innovative ideas. The innovation that finally 'broke the camels back' was the modular ship concept. The penalty of all these refinements was a growth in high topside weight and resultant overturning moment that made the system unacceptable for its original target ships - large destroyers and guided missile frigates.

The original ships were to have full load displacements in the range of 5, to tons, but now ASMS needed a ship having about twice that displacement. The combat system was expected to achieve new heights in improved intersystem data flow and reduced detection-to-engagement reaction times. James K. Stecher emerged as the winner. His entry was 'Aegis' the name of the shield of the Greek god Zeus, the ruler of the heavens.

The new missile system would be the 'shield of the fleet. The long name never stuck. The contract specified that the new system was to be called 'Aegis. The missile guidance would use the Typhon concept whereby the SPY-1 would steer the missile to the terminal guidance point with coded radar signals. In a break from the Typhon concept, small pointing terminal guidance illuminating radar dishes, derived from the Tartar system, would bounce signals off the target to guide a seeker head in the missile.

The Vietnam War combined with the expensive process of converting 31 fleet ballistic missile submarines to be fitted with Poseidon missiles in the early s put a huge strain on the Navy budget. The end result was cutting back on shipbuilding funds, and reducing the planned DLGN 38 class from 23 ships to only four. No more cruisers of the size needed to carry Aegis were authorized during the first half of the s, and as a result, the Aegis project did not have a target shipbuilding program.

He had been following the Aegis project, and realized that with the present weight and volume of the Aegis system, it might never get a target ship. The system needed reduction and simplification, and he managed to push through a modification to the RCA Aegis contract calling for a simplification study. Randolph W. Captain Bryce Inman retired from the Navy in and went to work for RCA in the Aegis program office, where his first job was to take charge of the Aegis simplification study.

Inman could not believe how much the system had grown in features, weight, and volume since he had worked on the Withington Committee. He could see many areas in the system that could be deleted or simplified, but first he needed to find out how much the system needed to be shrunk to fit into a feasible target shipbuilding project.

He picked the new Spruance destroyer class as his target because if Aegis could not be shoehorned into the Spruance class it probably would not see enough new receiving ships to make Aegis project continuation worth while, in his estimation. Inman got the Spruance booklet of general plans to use as a target to determine how much weight and volume would have to be removed from the Aegis components. His resultant study showed ways to cut the SPY-1 radar transmitter and signal processor weight in half and to cut the fire control equipment weight by one third.

Furthermore, his team identified a number of nice-to-have features and equipment that did not seem vital to the Aegis mission. If all recommendations were taken, Aegis could be installed in Spruance class destroyers. The Aegis project office sent the study report to the Naval Ship Engineering Center at Hyattsville, MD, where engineers confirmed the results, but also found that Aegis, in that form, would use up all the Spruance lifetime weight and overturning moment allowance.

The culprit was the modular deck house concept that so many senior reviewers thought was such a neat idea and still insisted upon it. When this writer studied servomechanisms there was an adage we were taught; "If you can't measure something, you can't control it. Meyer believed in firm project control, thorough testing of each system increment, and measuring the product. For his measurements he set up five 'operational cornerstones' that defined overall system performance; 1. Each had a numerical measure, or set of measures, and any new feature or change to the system was assessed by its calculated impact on these measures.

On 1 July Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt became the new Chief of Naval Operations, and by early his staff had prepared a new operational requirement for a single purpose battle group anti-air protection ship. It was to have high firepower, but it had to be affordable so that it could be built in large numbers. Meyer told the system commanders he could get Aegis into such a small ship if he could eliminate the modular deck house and some other nice-to- have features identified by the simplification study - and they bought it.

Admiral James L. Instead, he said he wanted a conventional multi purpose destroyer equipped with Aegis. Things were falling into place for Aegis. The first of the new Spruance DD destroyer class had been laid down on the building ways in November and its full load displacement was 7, tons. Aegis was now able to be fitted into a small 5, ton warship, and the DD hull was a natural candidate. John N.

Bryce Inman at RCA remembered that and other 'billboard radar' ship installation related problems, and prevailed on his RCA bosses to form a Ship Integration Engineering Group that would make sure every aspect of Aegis design would fit the realities of ship construction and operation. The group was made organizationally separate from the normal RCA Aegis system engineering team and rather reported directly to the RCA Aegis program manager.

The Ship Integration Engineering Group often recommended disapproval of design approaches and new features when they did not conform with the real life requirements of ship construction and operation. They were, at times, just as irritating to Capt. Meyer as they were to RCA management, but the realists usually prevailed. The Naval Sea Systems Command and the Naval Ordnance Systems Command were both intimately involved in shipbuilding and sometimes their prerogatives and responsibilities got in each other's way.

There was usually just an uneasy peace between the two. The relationships and responsibilities as to who did what when building and equipping a ship were governed by a list of agreements. Even with the agreements, representatives of the two commands often failed to see-eye-to-eye. In the squabbles got so bad that the Secretary of the Navy, on 1 July, abolished the two commands and merged them into the Naval Sea Systems Command.

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Things got a little better, but a reorganization can't change the way people think about what they perceive as their functions and responsibilities. One of the unresolved differences in thinking was between the Naval Tactical Data System project officer and the Aegis project manager. NTDS had the function of processing all targets through a threat evaluation and weapons assignment TEWA computerized function before assigning targets to a weapon system or airborne interceptor.

The Aegis project, however, was concerned about fast moving, low flying aircraft or missiles that might hit a target ship only seconds after detection. They felt that such obvious high treat targets should be fed directly to the fire control computer upon detection. The disagreement was magnified even more because the two different groups were using and controlling the same SPY-1 radar on the part of one side for search and air intercept control, and on the part of the other side for fire control and missile guidance.

It can be seen that, even though NTDS had become fully accepted by the Navy, it was starting to lose its identity. The prototype Aegis installation was completed in May , and soon after Norton Sound began system tests. In the first live firings, two Standard-MR missiles having inert warheads were fired at a remotely controlled Ryan Firebee target drone. The first missile came close enough to the Firebee to down it if it had an explosive warhead. The second missile made skin contact with the target and destroyed it. In Norton Sound's Aegis system, in a test of the anti-surface mode, sank a remotely controlled Septar target boat in a demonstration that the system could handle enemy anti-ship missile boats.

All subsystems in the combat system were to use digital computers, and the subsystems would be highly integrated so that the combat system would truly work as one system with information in one subsystem flowing freely to all the others. Systems such as NTDS, search radars, sonar, missile fire control, gun fire control, underwater battery fire control, inertial navigation, electronic warfare, electronic countermeasures, IFF, and external communications were to be tightly linked together by inter computer data channels. Project Seahawk never came to fruition, probably for two reasons; 1.

It took more than a strong project manger in the Naval Ship Systems Command; it also needed a very strong OPNAV sponsor who could knock heads and exercise a certain amount of coercion. Each succeeding class had a little higher level of combat system integration, but not even the FFG-7 Class had the level of system integration envisioned by the Seahawk project. Wayne E. Individual sponsors and project managers representing the many 'special interest' communities in the Navy were still loath to come under the influence of a single integrating super project manager.

This they did by placing the Ticonderoga Class shipbuilding program and the Aegis project under one project manager - Rear Admiral Wayne E. It was to be called the Aegis Shipbuilding Project. It had taken 12 years since Wayne Meyer took over the Aegis project in , but Aegis at sea was finally a reality. Twelve years of powerful critics attacking the project, solving seemingly overwhelming engineering problems,bringing various Navy special interest groups in line, and yearly defending his project funds before Congress. He had built the Navy's first truly integrated shipboard combat system.

Todd R. In the year the Aegis Combat System is still the premier combat system in not only the U. At present there are 82 Aegis ships in the U. Navy, and 21 in foreign navies; and more are on the way. The system has undergone numerous upgrades over the years, including getting powerful new Navy standard computers. The one most significant upgrade is probably the vertical launching system wherein the standard missiles are stowed vertically in magazines just below quick acting doors in the main deck, allowing the missiles to be launched directly from their magazine.

Today the Aegis Combat System controls not only standard anti-air missiles, but also the close-in weapon system, the underwater antisubmarine battery, anti surface ship weapons, and most recently anti-ballistic missile defense. The latest capability is attested to by an incident that happened in February Soon after reaching orbit the control station lost contact with the satellite, and it was later determined that it was in a deteriorating orbit that would eventually bring it back into the atmosphere.

The problem being, the satellite was fueled with hydrazine a hazardous substance that could cause a toxic cloud upon reentry, with bad consequences if it came down in an inhabited area. Knowing that Aegis had the capability to bring down short and medium range ballistic missiles, the Department of Defense asked the Navy if an Aegis system could bring down the errant satellite. Lockheed Martin engineers worked out the needed changes, tested them, and installed them on three Aegis ships, where the crews were trained for the shoot-down.

The final result was a direct hit. The V in the nomenclature signifies that the new airborne computer came in various sizes with differing computing power and memory to match numerous applications. But, this left the Naval Sea Systems Command in the embarrassing position of having no new competitive source for standard minicomputers; for which there was in the mid s a large projected demands. David Mann, on their proposed approach for competitively acquiring the next generation of standard computers.

This would involve selecting a popular, well used commercial computer architecture and embody it in a family of militarized machines ranging from mainframes to microprocessors, all of which could execute the same computer programs. Mann, but he questioned the feasibility of using the PDP architecture in real-tine military systems.

Instead of approving NAVMAT's approach, Mann felt it would be better to have a group of acknowledged industry experts study the problem in depth. Joseph M. Fox, a former IBM vice president was asked to chair the panel. In order to maintain the panel's objectivity, NAVMAT, systems command, and Navy laboratory representatives were not put on the panel, but participated by providing briefings, written material, and numerical information. Mann also sent questionnaires out to all Navy project and program offices asking not only about their future needs for tactical computers, but also their present holdings of computer programs that ran in the standard computers and their future computer program development plans.

The panel had its first meeting in January and provided a final report in October of that year. The panel dug deeply and came up with some results that Navy computer managers had not realized. Furthermore projections showed that in six years this number was going to quadruple. This was not too much of a surprise, but what came next was a revelation. The panel noted that by the total of of fielded Navy standard computers would be valued at hundreds of millions of dollars, but more significantly the value of tactical computer programs would be in the billions of dollars.

Clearly, computer programs were going to be the dominant cost in Navy embedded computer systems. The panel noted that if the Navy adopted a new computer architecture, much of this investment in programs would have to be rewritten to run in the new machines; and rewriting programs was not trivial because a rewritten program needs full retesting.

Furthermore, the panel said because of the cost of new programs, existing programs, or segments thereof, should be reused wherever possible in new applications. The panel recommended that the Navy should develop a new family of computers, embracing the latest in computer technology, but should retain the instruction set architectures of the UYK-7 and UYK computers so that the large investment in computer programs could be reused. The panel also noted that the new computers could also have additional new instructions and features, as long as they could execute the existing computer programs.

The panel also expressed its concern that, in spite of the establishment of the Tactical Digital Systems Office TADSO at Naval Material Command Headquarters, the day-to-day management of standard computer acquisition was fragmented among the systems commands and there seemed to be little collaboration or mutual support among Navy computer developments. The panel recommended that the Navy consolidate all tactical computer developments under a single program manager.

That program manager should also be responsible for standard computer peripherals and operator displays, computer programming support tools, tactical computer programming standards, centralized life cycle logistics support of all tactical embedded computer products, long range computer requirements planning, and managing related research and development projects. The report on the Fiscal Year Appropriations Bill from the House Appropriations Committee had a statement saying the Committee was pleased to find the Navy was going to competitively acquire its next generation of standard shipboard computers, and that these computers would be able to reuse the Navy's large investment in existing computer programs.

The report further agreed that the Navy should not try to competitively buy more of the existing UYK-7 and UYK computers, but should press ahead with developing new computers using the latest in technology. To provide an incentive for the new developments, the Committee noted it had reprogrammed Navy funds marked for upgrades to the existing machines into the new development.

In December Capt. Eugene Reiher, who had relieved Radm. The actual developments were to be done by project offices in the systems commands under the technical direction and fiscal control of the TECPO office. Carl C. Drenkard, assisted by computer engineer Paul H. James P. O'Donovan, to develop both of the new shipboard computers. The NTDS project office was no longer in the computer, display, or data link development business, but would rather be one of the many users of PMS 's standard tactical digital equipment.

Peter M. Boslaugh, 21 Nov. As one of his last acts before retiring from government service, engineer Paul Hoskins wrote a general description of the requirements for the new mainframe computer. Then he set up a navy-wide design review group of engineers from Navy laboratories, systems commands, and project offices to work out the requirements in detail. The two new computers were to be built of the latest solid state integrated circuit technology, and both machines were to be able to execute computer programs written for their predecessor computers. The mainframe was specified to be able to execute a tactical program instruction mix at a rate of 4.

The machine was to be designed so that it could be fitted with denser memory, faster processors, and other new technologies as they came available. Submarines did not participate in NTDS, but were starting to use digital computers in their weapon systems. Two of the requirements thus placed on the new mainframe were the ability to fit through a standard inch diameter submarine deck hatch without disassembly, and a strict restriction on generating structural and airborne noise.

The two design review groups completed their detailed specifications in March , and representatives of seventeen contractors attended the May bidders conference. O'Donovan was feeling pretty good. O'Donovan had hoped to have at least four different contractors build engineering development models of each machine, from which two production contractors would be selected for each computer.

Later there would be a competitive evaluation of engineering development models to pick a production supplier for each machine. In October when this writer relieved Capt. O'Donovan and I visited some of the contractors who had, at the last minute, declined to submit bids on the two standard computers. We wanted to find out why they had backed off. In most cases they were relatively small firms who specialized in putting an already-developed commercial machine in a militarized package.

As we got deeper into the conversations they usually noted that the particular machine they offered did not meet the Navy specifications without considerable reengineering. In most cases they would have had to start out from scratch designing a new machine. Some said that they did not feel confident enough about beating Univac to tie up most of their engineering resources for a couple of years, and others honestly said they did not have the engineering capability to design a new machine.

When Capt. O'Donovan's engineers ran the first Navy acceptance tests they perversely loaded the Univac computer with the IBM testing programs and vice versa. To the credit of both contractors, both machines worked even with the other's test programs. A few months after start of preparations for production, Univac made a proposal to cut the new minicomputer's production cost by making what both Univac and the Navy adjudged to be a minor change in the mini's new high-tech multilayer silicon substrate circuit boards. The change would replace the gold interconnection wiring 'printed' on each layer of the seven layer boards with copper.

The expected cost savings were appreciable, and we expeditiously gave approval. Part of the enthusiasm may have been due to the abhorrence of Navy program managers of the term 'gold plated,' that the critics of military specifications love to levy against military projects. Nobody as much as dreamed that we were virtually plunging the computer into a new research and development program. The UYK was one of the first electronic devices ever to use the new multi layer silicon substrate circuit boards.

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They allowed a high density of printed circuit chips and at the same time give better component cooling. Univac engineers, physicists, and chemists had perfected the gold printed wiring process which called for many chemical treating steps and baking in vacuum ovens at precise temperatures, and they did not see any particular problem in changing the process to copper lands. The first new boards came out of the ovens and ran fine in their initial tests, but after a few days failures occurred. The copper lands were separating inside the layers of the boards. After a few months of tries with the copper conductors we were starting to realize that what we thought was deterministic science was in reality a combination of alchemy and black arts.

What was supposed to work in theory was not working in practice. Eleven different project mangers had placed orders for advance production UYK models , and they were counting on delivery by December , which was now only a month away. Univac was making little headway in perfecting the copper wiring process, and we began to think seriously about going back to the gold wiring.

We would not go back to the gold wiring, and one of the top items on the Chief of Naval Material's daily problem list was the status of the UYK circuit boards.

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Fortunately their were some ameliorating factors. For those who absolutely had to have a working UYK, Jim O'Donovan located every engineering development model Univac had built and parceled them out to project managers. IBM pulled them out, made sure they ran and shipped them off to designated project mangers. O'Donovan would not release a production machine until it had passed extended reliability tests. This writer made daily rounds of phone calls to project managers to get a measure of their pain level, and Capt. O'Donovan directed his few remaining engineering development machines to where the pain was worst.

Univac scientists had found the right combination in their alchemy, and the new copper wired circuit boards began passing extended reliability tests. UYK production was cranked up to supply all the promised machines. The UYK computer consumed about as much power as an electric stove with the oven and all burners on, and all that heat had to be removed by a cooling system. Heat is the main enemy of solid state electronics, and the UYK contract specification required that no single transistor junction temperature could be above a specified temperature in normal operation.

A single overheated transistor would become the most likely computer failure point. The specification emphasized that average junction temperatures didn't count; all junctions had to meet the temperature requirement. The design of the cooling system in a high performance computer has always been a severe engineering problem, and both IBM and Univac considered it one of their most critical design areas.


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At Univac, however, they saw that even though the average junction temperature was within bounds, there were hot spots. They warned Univac engineers that, so far, the Univac UYK was not in compliance, and that if the hot spots could not be corrected, IBM was probably going to win by default. Univac tried fixes, but nothing worked.

Univac engineers came to the belated realization that a new UYK cabinet design was going to be needed; and there was not much time left. The Univac cabinet was a complex built-up welded device that would take too long to rework. In desperation Univac engineers designed a new cabinet out of solid aluminum slabs, and took their plans to a local Minneapolis company who fabricated complex things out of aluminum slabs with computer controlled milling machines. In a few weeks Univac had assembled the first aluminum enclosure and installed the internals.

Cooling system tests showed they met all junction temperature requirements. A few days later a Univac manager called Capt. O'Donovan to tell him that the new cabinet not only met all temperature, shock, and vibration specs, but also in production quantities was going to cost about a third less than the old cabinet. The contract did not require that the Navy give the contract to the lowest bidder; it was up to the selection board's overall assessment and discretion. The general thrust of the calls was trying to feel me out on who was going to win the production contract. I was not allowed to tell them anything, not even my private thoughts.

The other thrust of the calls was the assumption on the part of the callers that since Univac had won the large UYK minicomputer contract, the Navy was going to give the mainframe contract to IBM. Congressional staffers even suggested this might be appropriate as a way to give the Navy another supplier of standard computers.

I was to go see the senior staffer of the House Armed Services Committee the following day. That, to us, is a lot of money the Navy could use to buy other things. The UYK price was so low that we began wondering how it compared with commercial machines of equivalent computing power. One of Capt. O'Donovan's engineers did an industry survey that confirmed our suspicions. The UYK price came out lower than the average price of equivalent commercial machines.

The price was so low that innovative project mangers began planning to use them in applications where military hardened machines were not needed, such as shore computing sites. They even planned to use the new mainframes as automated digital switchboards in shipboard systems because the machines cost less than a conventional digital switchboard.

Also, a submarine weapon system project that had planned to use numerous minicomputers and microprocessors in a distributed architecture ran into unresolvable data distribution and time lag problems that forced the project to fall back on using a large number of UYK computers. By early Capt. O'Donovan had accumulated more orders for the new mainframe than his early projections, and his planners were showing a very large future orders projection. A projection that Univac managers apparently just could not believe.

Univac had not geared up to produce the new machine at the ordered rate and they started coming off the production line much too slowly. There was also some conjecture in Navy circles, that Univac, like many others, had assumed that IBM was going to be given the UYK contract, and had not put much planning into gearing up for large scale production. Univac managers remained silent when that subject was brought up. Univac officials were invited to various Washington D.

The following is one example of how the UYK was pulled into work where 'milspec' computers were not really needed. It happened in May , when I looked up to see Barbara Henderson, the Tactical Embedded Computer Program Office secretary standing in my office doorway, a sheet of paper in her hand, and a puzzled look on her face. It was a personal letter from the CEO of a large corporation complaining that the Aegis project had initially committed to using their supermini computers in five shore based computer programming sites as Aegis combat system simulators.

The CEO wanted to make sure Adm. White knew of this inexplicable and very expensive decision to use costly 'milspec' machines in place of their much less expensive commercial minicomputers. I asked, "Why are you doing this Jack? The analysis ran as follows. So far this gave the commercial machines a slight edge.

The comparison did not stop there, however. First, the unique commercial machines needed their own set of repair parts at each site, whereas there were to be other UYK computers at each site, so the additional UYKs could use the basic kit of onsite spares without additional stocking. Repair parts are sort of an insurance item that requires one or two each of critical parts even though there is very little chance of that part failing. Shop By Category. My Orders. Track Orders. Change Language. English Arabic. Important Links. Follow Us. App Download. US UK. Thank you for subscribing!

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Used as a test target and sunk at Bikini Atoll. Sunk due to enemy action at the Battle of Midway. Sunk due to enemy action southeast of San Cristobal Island. Sunk due to enemy action at the Battle of the Santa Cruz Islands. Stricken 1 Jun Established as a floating museum in Charleston, S. Established as a floating museum in New York City in Stricken from the Navy List Reclassified AVT 8 on 15 May Stricken from the Navy List 10 Oct Stricken from the Navy List 16 Nov Stricken from the Navy List 1 Jun