Bringing the Tomahawk missile to the Los Angeles (SSN-688) class wasn't easy.
The Tomahawk cruise missile has proved to be an electrifying weapon—and the weapon of choice among commanders who do not wish to risk pilots or ground troops. But this article is not about the spectacular success of the weapon; it is about how Tomahawk cruise missiles made their way into the submarine force.
The story begins with my assignment as project manager, Attack Submarine Acquisition Project (PMS 393), in the summer of 1979. My responsibility primarily was management of the Los Angeles (SSN-688)-class construction program. This project was not a model acquisition program. The few boats that were in the fleet were suffering from major design glitches. Those under construction, some 23 submarines, were behind schedule, mostly over budget, and had the same glitches as the operating units. As a result, the relationship between the Navy and the shipyards—especially Electric Boat (EB)—was strained at best. My first few months as PMS 393 were challenging, but the difficulties in delivering the SSN-688 class is a story for another time.