This book provides a historical account of one of the key weapons developments of the nuclear age. By examining the United States Fleet Ballistic Missile program from Polaris in the 1950s to Trident II in the 1990s, Graham Spinardi is able to examine in detail the complex relationship between the advance of technology and the pace of the arms race. Did technology "drive" the arms race or were these weapons simply the product of political decisions? His account, drawing on interviews with many of the key participants, is the most complete currently available.
Table of ContentsAcknowledgements; 1. The US Fleet Ballistic Missile system: technology and nuclear war; 2. Theoretical models of weapons development; 3. Heterogeneous engineering and the origins of the fleet ballistic missile; 4. Building Polaris; 5. Success and successors; 6. Poseidon; 7. Strat-X, ULMS and Trident I; 8. The improved accuracy programme and Trident II; 9. Understanding technical change in weaponry; 10. Appendix: list of interviewees; Notes; Index.