Oral history of British science
Dommett, Roy (Part 9 of 19). An Oral History of British Science.
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Interviewee’s home, Fleet
Dommett, Roy, 1933- (speaker, male)
Lean, Thomas (speaker, male)
Part 9: Comments on project management at superintendent level during the 1970s [Closed between 03:58-04:25] [mic crackle] Remarks on: historians; looking back on Chevaline; submarine survival after missile launch; [05:20] study to ascertain if SA-N-6 missile could shoot down Polaris; organisation of the RAE, administration of Chevaline project, visiting PERT progress meetings, use of PERT on Chevaline; [09:50] PERT project management, use on WE177. [13:00] Comments of organisation of departments working on Chevaline, under George Hicks and RD, with Norman Blight managing flight trials, George Munns on systems integration. Remarks on: promotion to DCSO in 1980, not being able to retire at 60; favourable pension terms [20:30] becoming British SDI guru to Americans in 1980s; becoming involved with AGARD studies on ballistic missile defence in 1990s as a result of Steve Metcalf's illness; writing a report used by Chris Morton to develop a pre-feasibility study; comparison with 1960s ABM studies. [27:45] Remarks on: changes to thinking caused by precision guided weapons; knowledge of warhead design and discussing problems with Aldermaston personnel, with example of balancing of Chevaline re-entry vehicle. [31:05] Comments on documenting Chevaline's acceptance into service [mic crackle], approval questionnaire developed by Rex Chase and RD, control of information, black boxing of nuclear weapon design. [36:00] Comments on Trident: [Closed between 36:19 - 38:10] choice of Trident version; working with American company in Green County to develop a UK re-entry vehicle, allowing Britain good terms when Mark 4 re-entry vehicles were purchased. [Closed between 42:03-56:59] National Penaid Programme and relevance for SDI work; inter-establishment rivalry between Aldermaston and RAE over penaids.
Interview with rocket scientist and aeronautical engineer Roy Dommett