Mr. Cecil D. Richardson

As Director of the Systems Technology Project Office for the Army’s Ballistic Missile Defense Systems Command in Huntsville, Mr. Richardson managed an Army antiballistic missile development program involving hundreds of millions of dollars and employing 130 people.

In this key management position, he was responsible for planning and executing a vigorous research and development program to provide the United States with deployment options for a weapons system to defend strategic targets from an enemy ballistic missile attack. The work carried out by the Systems Technology Project Office is also central to the BMD Program's overall missions to preclude Soviet technological surprise and to support strategic arms limitation, intelligence, and strategic offensive system efforts.

During his tenure, Mr. Richardson has earned recognition for managing a highly successful technology validation program at the Systems Technology Test Facility at Kwajalein Missile Range to demonstrate the capabilities of the next-generation radar and data processor beyond SAFEGUARD. He has been instrumental in guiding this program since its conception in the early 1970s through its successful completion in 1980.

The integrated radar and data processing technology demonstrated at the Test Facility has been credited with proving beyond reasonable doubt that the United States has the capability to build an effective terminal BMD system that can detect, discriminate, and intercept intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) warheads even in the extreme environments caused by massive attacks.

Under Mr. Richardson's leadership, the Systems Technology Project Office has also initiated two new major research and development projects--the Homing Overlay Experiment (HOE) and the Low Altitude Defense (LoAD) Preprototype Demonstration. These two concepts combined provide the nucleus of the BMD Program's two-tiered, "Layered Defense" concept to provide the most cost-effective defense for a wide range of national-value targets.

Mr. Richardson's managerial skills have contributed to the $245-million Homing Overlay Experiment proceeding on schedule within approved funding levels. Diligent planning and reprogramming of funds have been required to negate the impact of unprecedented inflation of test costs and schedules.

HOE is a flight test program to be performed at Kwajalein Missile Range to resolve key development issues associated with an exoatmospheric, nonnuclear, optical homing interceptor.

During 1980 Mr. Richardson set up and organized a work force to carry out the BMD Program's newest thrust, the LoAD Preprototype Demonstration Program. The increasing vulnerability of U.S. strategic forces to Soviet attack has generated increased interest and support of the LoAD program as a possible near-term option to defend such hardened targets as MX or MINUTEMAN ICBM silos.

The $1.5-billion LoAD project will demonstrate technology from a system composed of a small phased-array radar, a small inertially guided interceptor, and a distributed data processor, deSigned to intercept an enemy ICBM under 50,000 feet during the final ten seconds of the ICBM's flight.

Mr. Richardson served as Deputy Director of the Systems Technology (then known as the Site Defense) Project Office for a year-and-a-half before assuming the directorship. Prior to that, he served as Assistant Deputy SAFEGUARD System Manager with the SAFEGUARD System Office in Arlington, Va., from August 1971 until October 1973.