This 1960s unclassified color film “Breakthrough” is about using PERT, the Navy’s technique for managing large-scale R&D programs, to develop nuclear-powered submarines and Polaris missiles two years ahead of schedule. It was produced by the United States Navy Special Projects Office and Merit Film Productions. A Polaris missile launches from a submarine (:38-1:25). The USS George Washington moves across the ocean’s surface (1:26-1:45). A man speaks to a small group of military officers about development of the Fleet Ballistic Missile Weapons System, which started in 1955 (1:46-2:53). It required astronomers, mathematicians, chemists, and physicists (2:54-3:06). A table-top model is shown, followed by large-scale simulators and equipment rooms (3:07-3:50). The camera looks down on a nuclear-submarine being built (3:51-3:55). The Polaris also required large-scale research (3:56-4:06). A flight test missile vehicle is shown (4:07-4:12). A safe propellent fuel and the mechanism for launch are tested (4:13-4:30). Various individuals work on components (4:31-4:55). Nuclear-powered submarines shown christened and launched in 1959 are USS George Washington (5:40), USS Patrick Henry (5:55), USS Theodore Roosevelt (6:13), USS Robert E. Lee (6:35), and in 1960, USS Abraham Lincoln (6:47). Operation Peashooter and Operation Skycatch tested future Polaris capabilities (7:00-7:21), Underwater launches were tested in Operation Popup (7:22-7:40). A successful test launch of a Polaris test vehicle was made in August, 1959 (7:41-8:01), followed by successful land-based launches (8:02-8:40), Another milestone in April, 1960 was the underwater launch of a test vehicle (8:41-9:00), followed by another in July from the USS George Washington (9:01-9:31). The agencies, universities, institutions, and industries part of the development are listed (9:33-9:52). PERT (Program Evaluation Review Technique) charts are shown to a room of military personnel (10:05-11:05). To use PERT, a program network chart is created in reverse order. Various renditions are shown in different meeting rooms to different groups, including fabrication, assembly and testing. (11:20-13:50). Three time estimates are attached to each network activity and probability-to-complete determined, as diagrammed (13:51-16:42). These stats are fed into the Navy’s IBM Naval Ordnance Research Calculator, shown in action (16:43-17:15). The many different forms printed out are shown and explained in detail (17:16-20:45). A schematic of how the time information is used is shown in detail, including finding slack areas. Computer models are run to help define these (20:46-24:47). PERT, simplified in a graphic, is shown as a management technique that creates network collaboration between all parties involved. The PERT system in operation is again shown using an animated schematic (24:48-27:41). A sample PERT network is shown to the group of officers and another between Lockheed and GE (27:55-29:55). The Naval Ordnance Research Calculator is shown again (29:56-30:10). Company PERT computer systems shown are Aerojet General and its IBM 704 (30:11), Lockheed and its IBM 709 (30:17), and Sperry and its UNIVAC (30:26). A list of nationwide companies and institutions using the PERT process are scrolled on the screen (30:27-31:00). A Polaris missile is launched from underwater (31:01-31:26).
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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD, 2k and 4k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com