Naval Warfare Center Pursuing New Partnerships: (Crane Division Touts Rapid-Deployment Success in Supporting Forces in Iraq)

Article excerpt

The Naval Surface Warfare Center, in Crane, Ind., has established a technical assistance program to provide expertise to companies needing help with product development and production.

The Crane division of the NSWC is the Navy's third largest facility worldwide, with 63,000 acres, 3,000 buildings, 1,600 ordnance magazines and a $2 billion investment in facilities.

Of Crane's 3,800 employees, about half are engineering and technology experts.

For Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom, Crane shipped 96 million pounds of ordnance and electronic products. It also fulfilled thousands of equipment repair and technical assistance requests.

Crane supports the avionics upgrades to the U.S. military's only tactical jamming aircraft, the EA-6B. It provides biological and chemical detection equipment to the Navy and other defense customers. Other programs Crane supports include air and surface electronic warfare systems such as the AN/ALQ-99 and AN/SLQ-32, integrated force protection systems, micro-electronic components and subsystems, ammunition, small arms, electro-chemical power sources, microwave power tubes, electronic interconnection boards, radiation hardened electronic components and pyrotechnic devices.

Following are some examples of new technologies developed at Crane:

The IROS. The Integrated Radar Optical Surveillance and Sighting System is a shipboard force protection system. It networks existing navigation radar, global positioning, imaging, electro-optic and night vision, stabilized small arms, high-powered searchlights, digital nautical charts and high resolution displays.

Marine Combat Headquarters, Southern Iraq. In December 2002, Crane was asked to design, build, test, and deliver a new mobile combat operations center for immediate deployment to the Middle East.

The design consisted of five trailers housing the required communications and electronics gear, along with two trailers that would provide hotel/housing services for the command center.

The system was delivered to Camp Pendleton in January 2003.

NSWC Crane also sent a team of 25 engineers, technicians, and explosive workers to Camp Fox, Kuwait, to participate in Marine Corps Class V (W) Ground Ammunition Reconstitution, Regeneration, and Retrograde (R3) Operations.

The munitions team was responsible for assessing the safety and quality of the ammunition in country.

Marine Mammal Mine Hunting Systems. The marine mammal program used dolphins for mine clearing operations at Umm Qasr, Iraq. The dolphins were used to locate and mark mines with the MK 7 marine mammal system.

It was discovered shortly prior to deployment that the MK 7 system batteries were unserviceable due to age. Crane was asked to help expedite procurement, production, testing and delivery of 250 batteries in January 2003.

This enabled the Naval Special Clearance Team One to deploy.

Infrared decoy flares. These are essential to the protection of naval aircraft from surface-to-air or air-to-air heat seeking missiles. In April 2001, the major producer of Navy decoy flares stopped production because of a fatal plant fire accident. The program manager requested interim production by a Crane Navy/Army team. …

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