Relationships between civilian scientist-engineers and the U.S. Navy-displayed in Bis photo of Dr. Alan Rudolph and Captain Warren Schultz at the Naval Research Laboratory-has historically proved successful. When politically appointed leadership replaced military leadership in this realm, however, the Navy began losing its handle on science and technology.
Recent congressional action on Navy shipbuilding indicates serious concern with the DD(X) destroyer program because of cost growth, lack of stability, and technical difficulties. As the Navy examines alternatives and waits for congressional direction, it is time to put scientist-engineers back to work within the Navy.
This is especially appropriate since Congress may add funds for additional Arleigh Burke (DDG-51)-class Aegis destroyers. Scientist-engineers in the Navy played a key role in the development and construction of Aegis cruisers and destroyers and their weapon systems. Their contribution to these successful programs grew out of the Navy's long association with science and technology.