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NEWS | Oct. 23, 2023

Vice Chief of Naval Operations tours NUWC Division Newport to discuss technology

By NUWC Division Newport Public Affairs

The Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Newport welcomed Vice Chief of Naval Operations Adm. Lisa Franchetti on Oct. 19 for tours and discussions with NUWC scientists, engineers and leadership.

“The NUWC team is developing innovative concepts and cutting-edge technology that will help expand the enduring advantage we have in the undersea domain,” Franchetti said. “They are finding creative solutions to operational challenges and delivering results at the speed of relevance.”

During her visit, Franchetti and warfare center personnel discussed multiple initiatives taking place in Newport, including advanced communication technique for submarines and efforts to transform digital submarine systems into more flexible and cyber-resilient architectures.

“It was great to have Admiral Franchetti onboard Division Newport,” said Commanding Officer Capt. Chad Hennings. “I got the chance to speak with her a few months ago at SENEDIA’s Defense Innovation Days, and one of the things that she said that stuck with me was, ‘the way you fight is determined by what you come to fight with.’ Division Newport’s scientists and engineers are continuing to innovate to bring those new technologies into the fleet so that our Sailors have what they need to fight and win today and tomorrow.”

Franchetti also saw the software Sailors currently are operating on submarines and discussed the ongoing upgrades to those systems. She was briefed on the Snakehead unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV), which is used to deliver warfighting options to Sailors, as well. Other topics of discussion included tactical systems, combat system virtualization and torpedo software development.

Franchetti’s stop at Division Newport was part of a larger tour of naval efforts in Rhode Island. She started her trip at General Dynamics Electric Boat, Quonset Point, where she received updates from company leadership on submarine manufacturing, modular construction, and outfitting for future Virginia- and Columbia-class submarines.

The Columbia-class will replace the Ohio-class as the Navy’s contribution to the nuclear triad, which remains the most survivable leg of the U.S. strategic nuclear deterrent force.

“Ensuring that these submarines are produced on time and on budget is a national strategic imperative,” said Franchetti.  “The Navy is 100% committed to partnering with Congress, industry, and the New England community to fulfill this mission.” 

Franchetti traveled to Naval Station Newport as well to visit prospective commanding officers, executive officers and command master chiefs at the Navy Leadership and Ethics Center. She also stopped at Surface Warfare Schools Command, where she engaged with prospective commanding and executive officers, and observed high-density maneuvering demonstrations in the schoolhouse simulators.

Franchetti, who has been nominated by President Joe Biden to be the next Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), has performed the duties of the CNO since Adm. Mike Gilday relinquished the office after successfully concluding his four-year tenure on Aug. 14. Franchetti will continue to perform the duties of CNO until someone is formally appointed to that role, in accordance with law.

NUWC Newport is the oldest warfare center in the country, tracing its heritage to the Naval Torpedo Station established on Goat Island in Newport Harbor in 1869. Commanded by Capt. Chad Hennings, NUWC Newport maintains major detachments in West Palm Beach, Florida, and Andros Island in the Bahamas, as well as test facilities at Seneca Lake and Fisher's Island, New York, Leesburg, Florida, and Dodge Pond, Connecticut.

Join our team! NUWC Division Newport, one of the 20 largest employers in Rhode Island, employs a diverse, highly trained, educated, and skilled workforce. We are continuously looking for engineers, scientists, and other STEM professionals, as well as talented business, finance, logistics and other support experts who wish to be at the forefront of undersea research and development. Please connect with NUWC Division Newport Recruiting at this site- and follow us on LinkedIn @NUWC-Newport and on Facebook @NUWCNewport.