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Skybolt: At Arm's Length

RAP

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The untold story of the hitherto secret projects that lead to the development of inertial navigation in the UK, and the many missiles that were designed for the RAF’s bomber force. The result was the Blue Steel missile, which was deployed in 1963. These were cruise type missiles, and in 1959 the RAF decided to participate in the American Skybolt air launched ballistic missile. But Skybolt was cancelled by the American Secretary of Defense, Robert McNamara, which brought about a crisis in Anglo-American relations, only resolved when the UK obtained Polaris on acceptable terms.
The cancellation brought about another crisis: Polaris would not be available until 1969, and so short-term stop gaps were needed to tide over the British deterrent until then. Many potential projects are examined in the book.
But what if the UK had not been able to obtain Polaris on acceptable terms? The final chapters examine what options would have been open to Britain: ground based missiles or air launched missiles? What part could the TSR 2 have played in this?
The book is the result of much archival research, and there are extensive quotes from contemporary documents to illustrate the thinking of the time.

This title will be released on December 3, 2019
 

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CNH

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It says something about the publishers that you know the publication date before the author does!
 

JFC Fuller

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I have to say I am really looking forward to this. Both "A Vertical Empire" and "An Atomic Empire" were brilliantly researched, well illustrated and very readable. Skybolt is a logical narrative follow-on to the Blue Streak chapters in "A Vertical Empire". We have discussed UK Inertial and Astro navigation systems R&D on this forum, at a relatively shallow level, so it will be interesting to see how much more has been dug up. The same for Skybolt alternatives, I have a vague memory of seeing a document at Kew that listed potential options (IIRC up to and including an indigenous SLBM) with some suspiciously round cost estimates next to them - I always wondered how they were arrived at.
 

Hood

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Chris Gibson did a good job on Skybolt alternatives in Vulcan's Hammer but I'm sure this will be an informative read and certainly time that Skybolt got more coverage with recent research.
 

uk 75

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I have a copy of Blue Streak by John Boyes and it has very full chapters on Skybolt
 

RanulfC

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I think there was an article related to this in a JBIS magazine at one point. Only part II though IIRC.
I'll see if I can find it again

Randy
 
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