Oral history of British science
Dommett, Roy (Part 11 of 19). An Oral History of British Science.
The British Library Board acknowledges the intellectual property rights of those named as contributors to this recording and the rights of those not identified.
Legal and ethical usage »
Interviewee’s home, Fleet
Dommett, Roy, 1933- (speaker, male)
Lean, Thomas (speaker, male)
Part 11: Comments on security issues: recent visit from headquarters; concerns because of authority he speaks with; anecdote about French intelligence knowing all about him due to work on AGARD AA27. Comments on AGARD27, an early 1990s NATO study of ABM defences carried out with Huntings and a number of European nations, with an emphasis on threats from the Middle East. [05:00] Remarks on: previous study concerned with Russian attack on Italy from Yugoslavia; limitations of AGARD studies; problems hunting Iraqi Scud missile launchers in 1st Gulf War. Comments on Al Hussain extended Scud missile and the problems of intercepting it with Patriot missiles, rapid analysis of problem leading to enhanced current capabilities, RD's postwar feelings on Iraqi capabilities. [14:30] Remarks: on reviewing security of legacy projects after his retirement with Steve Metcalf; problems of being an authoritative voice [short interjection by Mrs Dommett]; MOD handler on recent visit advising him not talk about countermeasures in detail [Closed between 17:15-17:40]; differences of US, Soviet and UK approaches; problems of fires in Russian radar defences. [19:40] Comments on Trident: [Closed between 20:25 – 20:52] current news over Trident funding arrangements, with comparison to previous Chevaline and Poseidon decisions; official historian Matthew Jones's problems in piecing together history after records are destroyed, RD assistance; relationship of policy and technology, with reference to National Archive policies. [25:30] Comments on early RRE work on low observability work by Grant Dawson, connected with Blue Streak and V-bombers, cited as beginning of stealth, which means he was never credited. [28:30] Comments on Black Knight Dazzle trials problems with nylon lanyards [short interjection by Mrs Dommett], with reference to problems on Beagle 2 parachute not benefiting from earlier secret Black Knight work.
Interview with rocket scientist and aeronautical engineer Roy Dommett