Director of Missiles from 1978-81 at the AWRE, and Chief Weapon System Engineer of Polaris from 1981-2
Stanley Orman “An Uncivil Civil Servant”
How did a boy from a working class home in East London get to develop nuclear offensive and defensive weapons, oversee military cooperation between the US and the UK, and brief Margaret Thatcher and the British Chiefs of Staff on SDI (Strategic Defense Initiative – nicknamed Star Wars), while also finding time to collaborate with orthopedic surgeons to design a titanium hip replacement? This book outlines the development of a young lad who was evacuated from London in 1944 to avoid the V1 and V2 attacks. After the war he became an international athlete, a well published research scientist, and went on to take a leading role in the development of Britain’s nuclear deterrent. The circle was completed when he led British involvement in the American Star Wars program, by helping to create a system that could intercept the type of missiles that had forced him to become an evacuee decades earlier. His early school years shaped an approach to life that enabled Stanley to succeed so spectacularly and we are taken from his childhood in Wartime London to success at University, to the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment and onto Diplomacy at the very highest level of British and American Nuclear Activity.We are given an insider view of how major military programs costing over two billion dollars can be managed to time and to cost. How secret diplomacy can even be conducted in Washington, a location that at times leaks like a sieve. How life is conducted in Britain’s largest Embassy in Washington, and how international defense programs are really managed. A theme that runs through the book is how national security can be achieved in a world that becomes ever more dangerous as nations that previously would have been considered third world strive to acquire weapons of mass destruction. Publisher’s Note Publishing this book and reading the outstanding testimonials to Stanley Orman is the first time in my life I have realised the need for a British nuclear deterrent and why there was a requirement to change from Polaris to Chevaline. The reason for my previous lack of conviction was that the British – and I am sure – the American public were never really made aware that the Soviets had developed a missile defence system. A defence that was thought by Western Intelligence Agencies to be capable of protecting assets and cities considered vital by the Soviets. Without modification our Polaris system would no longer have remained an effective deterrent to possible Soviet aggression. After developing and preparing Chevaline – the modified Polaris deterrent – for deployment Stanley Orman went on to work on the American Strategic Defense Initiative – Star Wars program. The testimonials contained in this book reveal the British contribution to this program and the fear that SDI instilled in the Soviets, contributing to the fall of the Soviet Union. It is largely unrecognized that the Russians continue to maintain their missile defence system that relies on nuclear tipped missiles to defend against attack. The now deployed American system is far more effective and safer by relying on hit-to-kill missiles without the need for any warhead. An effective defence contributes significantly to a deterrent posture, by making it clear to adversaries that a missile attack cannot succeed. This book puts a fresh perspective on the author’s involvement and achievements in this complex field of nuclear deterrence. Testimonials and indeed the letter from the President of the Unites States lay emphasis on Stanley’s contribution to neutralising the Russian threat and helping to secure world peace.
Stanley Ormon went on to King’s College London BSc, PhD, Chemistry & Physics Post Doctoral fellow, & Fullbright scholar at Brandeis University 1960-’61
Held positions of Minister in British Embassy Washington, Deputy Director of AWRE, Aldermaston, and Director General of UK SDI Participation Organization.