AEGIS: A MILITARY INNOVATION CASE STUDY
Hudson, Joshua B.
Russell, James A.
Hammerer, John J., Jr.
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The threat of hypersonic missiles being employed against U.S. naval forces by adversaries like China and Russia has forced current civilian and naval leaders to reexamine fleet defense to a degree similar to efforts at the end of World War II. When confronted with the threat of kamikazes and early anti-ship cruise missiles, the Navy launched a series of programs to close the capabilities gap between adversary weapons and the lack of a credible defense. The Navy’s eventual solution, the AEGIS Weapon System, was a revolutionary synthesis of system engineering integration with novel fleet defense tactics that have served as the backbone of the Navy surface forces for over 40 years. Why did AEGIS succeed at innovating while other programs failed? This thesis will answer this question by analyzing the development of AEGIS, from program inception to the introduction of AEGIS ships in the fleet, through the four paradigms of military innovation studies. Examination of AEGIS through each paradigm found that intraservice competition and culture were instrumental in AEGIS's success, with significant implications for policymakers. This thesis concludes with recommendations on how to best orient the Navy's approach toward hypersonic missile defense in the future.
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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