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NEWS | July 20, 2015

NATO Experts Visit NSWC Crane

By NSWC Crane Public Affairs

July 20, 2015

CRANE, Indiana - Six experts from NATO's Land Combat Group, Dismounted Soldier Systems and Weapons and Sensors (LCGDSS-WS) teams met with Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) personnel in late June and early July.  Guests from Norway, Great Britain and Canada were represented in the group, which is part of a Team of Experts (ToE) formed to establish standard test procedures for the evaluation of small arms suppressors.  During the three-day meeting, team members consulted with subject matter experts from NSWC Crane on methods to effectively and objectively measure spectral emissions from a small arms system utilizing a suppressor during operation. 

The ToE's test methods must evaluate several characteristics of small arms suppressors, including acoustic signature, thermal signature, flash/visual signature, accuracy, dispersion, particulates and back pressure/bolt velocity.  This year, the ToE developed an acoustic signature method and now its focus is on thermal and visual signature.  The goal of the meeting at NSWC Crane was for the ToEs to gain a better understanding of the warfare center's expertise in the measurement of light, specifically in the Electro-Optics and Infrared/Radio Frequency Systems Technology Divisions.  The U.S. Army's Armaments Research Development Engineering Center and the Marine Corps' Infantry Weapons Systems command also participated in the discussions.

David Long, NSWC Crane's Small Arms Weapons Systems Division chief engineer, explained that in order to move forward with the establishment of test procedures, the ToE is in the process of gathering and evaluating test methods from member nations.  "Current methods vary from country-to-country and are generally subjective evaluations," Long noted.  "Many of the current methods were developed for obsolete film cameras or are dependent on specific equipment.  The ToE's goal is to define a common method that is objective and independent of equipment."  An experimental trial to develop the draft method and determine if it is suitable is scheduled for late August or early September.  Once developed, the method will save money and allow test data to be easily shared between member nations.   

Fifteen experts from six countries participate in the ToE, including the United States, United Kingdom, Norway, Netherlands, Denmark and Canada.

NSWC Crane is a naval laboratory and a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) with focus areas in Special Missions, Strategic Missions and Electronic Warfare. NSWC Crane's Special Missions focus area is the center of excellence for special warfare weapons and weaponry, providing full-spectrum life-cycle engineering and testing support functions for reliable and effective weapons, munitions and electronic systems for special operations and expeditionary forces.