A View from David Appell

Antimissile Quality Control

Are the builders of the national antimissile system rushing to meet deadlines, putting them above technological quality? That’s certainly the message of an article in today’s Washington Post. Hell-bent on meeting Bush’s year-end 2004 deadline for the first elements of…

  • June 10, 2005

Are the builders of the national antimissile system rushing to meet deadlines, putting them above technological quality? That’s certainly the message of an article in today’s Washington Post. Hell-bent on meeting Bush’s year-end 2004 deadline for the first elements of the system, engineers and managers took “risky shortcuts,” among them “insufficient ground tests of key components, a lack of specifications and standards, and a tendency to postpone resolution of nettlesome issues.” That according to a three-panel member of experts. Certainly sounds like the way to build a system that won’t work…And guess what: it doesn’t: both the December 2004 and February 2005 tests were failures, as was a test in late 2003. For this kind of management and expertise we’re paying $10 billion a year….

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