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NUWC Division Newport test team wins Office of Naval Research Prize for Affordability

By NUWC Division Newport Public Affairs | March 3, 2020

NEWPORT, R.I. —

The Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) Division Newport Virginia-class Block III/Advanced Processor Build (APB) 5 Weapon Development Coordinated Development Test Team has won the Office of Naval Research (ONR) 2018 Prize for Affordability. This prestigious award is granted annually to a Department of the Navy scientist, engineer, or group who has had the most impact on the future availability of affordable technologies for naval forces. Such impact must be widely recognized nationally in the Navy and technical community.

This is the third time Division Newport employees have won this award in recent years.

Team members include Undersea Warfare (USW) Combat Systems Division employees Marc Francis, Virginia-class test and evaluation (T&E) chief engineer, a resident of Dartmouth, Massachusetts; Robert LeDuc, Virginia- and Columbia- class T&E technical project manager, a resident of Dighton, Massachusetts; Thomas Perron, Virginia-class T&E and weapons system accuracy trials manager, a resident of East Lyme, Connecticut; Kevin Silva, Virginia-class non-propulsion electronic systems payload integration engineer, a resident of Tiverton, Rhode Island; retired employee Robert Murphy of Portsmouth, Rhode Island; and Charles Lury, a torpedo test planner in the USW Weapons, Vehicles and Defensive Systems Department, who is a resident of Warwick, Rhode Island.

The Division Newport Virginia-class T&E Team and the Torpedo T&E Team combined to form the Virginia-class Block III/APB 5 Weapon Development Coordinated Development Test Team. The team’s objective was to reduce the prohibitive costs associated with Mark 48 ADCAP (Advanced Capability) torpedo firing exercises, which require significant asset support, logistics and submarine underway time. Through extensive coordination and planning among multiple stakeholders, the team was able to reduce the required weapons firings from 46 to 18.

If the various organizations involved were to perform weapons system testing independently, the cost would be approximately $10.1 million. By coordinating torpedo firings with all stakeholders, it is estimated that the test event cost was reduced to approximately $5.2 million, providing a potential cost avoidance of $4.9 million.

Coordinating these events also reduced the required test time from 40 days to 12 days, resulting in 28 ship days available to the fleet to support submarine underway missions.

The award will be presented to the winners at an ONR award ceremony in the near future.

NUWC Newport is a shore command of the U.S. Navy within the Naval Sea Systems Command, which engineers, builds and supports America’s fleet of ships and combat systems. NUWC Newport provides research, development, test and evaluation, engineering and fleet support for submarines, autonomous underwater  systems, undersea offensive and defensive weapons systems, and countermeasures associated with undersea warfare.

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. Michael Coughlin, 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.