Marc Cope honored for 35 years, but he’s not done yet

NAWSCWD China Lake Deidre Patin –Marc Cope tucked 35 years of service under his belt, but he’s not done advancing warfighting technology just yet.

Cope, a native of the Indian Wells Valley and graduate of Burroughs High School – where his wife is now the principal – joined federal service after graduating from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo with a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering.

He came to China Lake as part of the Junior Professional program for new engineers and completed multiple tours starting with the Standard Missile Fuze Department and ending with a position in the Control Design Branch. Cope’s time in Control Design was fruitful; he was instrumental in writing the software for the first all-digital autopilot for a sidewinder variant.

Cope supported many different weapon programs, Foreign Material Exploitation efforts and threat analysis tasks throughout the years. While working for what is now known as PMA-201, he led a small team of engineers in creating weapon salvo tables. He also worked with surface warfare tasks and eventually air-launched weapons programs, including assisting with the development of tactics for both the U.S. Navy and the nation’s allied forces.

In 2009, Cope became the technical deputy for the SLAM-ER/Harpoon Technical Project Office, where he was involved with all aspects of the weapon, focusing on the Harpoon seeker operation. He was part of the team that designed and verified a Low Cost Modular Target (LCMT) for the Harpoon seeker that is now used for most U.S. Navy Harpoon firings. Cope used his new knowledge of Harpoon seeker capabilities to improve the fidelity of the Harpoon salvo tables, and is now considered a Harpoon subject matter expert.

Cope received a promotion to be the SLAM-ER/Harpoon TPO lead. During his time, the team oversaw the performance evaluation and integration of the Network Enabled Weapon Harpoon Block II+ into the fleet. The effort included a successful multi-weapon firing at the Valiant Shield 2018 fleet firing exercise and the reintegration of Harpoons on submarines, with a successful launch from a sub at the Rim of the Pacific 2018 exercise. In all, Cope helped plan and support five RIMPAC exercises.

In 2019, Marc was transferred to the Tomahawk TPO, where he remains today. Although he provides technical leadership to TPO’s Weapon Assessment Office, he still maintains his salvo support for the Harpoon program as the resident subject matter expert.

Story First Published: 2022-02-11