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Warfare Centers History

The Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Warfare Centers trace their history back to 1862 when the Navy Department established the Bureau of Ordnance (BuOrd).  Over the last century and a half, several historical engineering leaders have played a critical role in establishing the Navy’s technical infrastructure including Rear Adm. John Dahlgren, Rear Adm. David Taylor, Rear Adm. George Melville and Commodore William Crane.


In 1991, as part of an overall Department of the Navy consolidation of research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E), engineering and Fleet support activities, two  Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Warfare Centers officially stood up in 1991 – the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) and the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC).  In 2003, NSWC and NUWC began operating as an integrated entity in order to collaborate with customers, adopt a common work assignment process, increase efficiency and shift from a site-centric model to a national business model. 


Today, the men and women of the NAVSEA Warfare Centers represent approximately 30% of the Navy’s overall engineering and science expertise and continue to provide full-spectrum support (science and technology (S&T), research, development, testing and evaluation (RDT&E), product delivery and Fleet support) for the Navy’s ships and systems.