Chapter 12

HSI Practices in Program Management: Case Studies of Aegis

Aruna Apte

12.1 Introduction

On Armed Forces Day, May 16, 1981, the first of a revolutionary new class of ships was launched at Ingalls Shipyard in Pascagoula, Mississippi. Then First Lady Nancy Reagan broke a champagne bottle against her bow and christened her TICONDEROGA, the first AEGIS cruiser. On January 22, 1983, after 20 months of the most extensive and carefully watched trials, TICONDEROGA was commissioned in the U.S. Navy.

AEGIS, named after the mythological armor shield of Zeus, with its state-of-the-art radar and missile-launching systems is the Navy's most capable surface-launched missile system ever put to sea. Its computer programs and displays detect incoming missile or aircraft threats, sort them by assigning a threat value, assign on-board standard surface-to-air missiles, and guide them to their targets. This makes the AEGIS system a fully integrated combat system capable of simultaneous warfare against air, surface, subsurface, and strike threats.

The US Navy's defense against these threats has continued to rely on the winning strategy of defense-in-depth. In the late 1950s, on Navy ships were replaced by the first generation of guided missiles. By the late 1960s, these missiles continued to perform well, but the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) recognized that reaction time, firepower, and operational availability in all environments would not match the impending threat. To counter this, ...

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