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NSWCDD Technical Leader Focused on Delivering Next Generation Combat Systems to the Fleet During COVID-19 Pandemic

By NSWCDD Corporate Communications | May 7, 2020

DAHLGREN, Va. – Scientists and engineers at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division (NSWCDD) are meeting the technological needs of the Fleet in spite of restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NSWCDD Integrated Combat Systems Department announced, May 7.

Robin Lacy – who assumed duties as the NSWCDD Integrated Combat Systems Department head on March 2 – assured Sailors, their families, and the nation that crucial technological systems are continuing to be installed aboard Navy warships.

“I look forward to leading and learning from this talented team of scientists, engineers and technicians,” said Lacy, while speaking about her new role as the department’s principal technical manager and her promotion to senior scientific technical manager.

“We are committed to quickly delivering effective, next generation combat systems to meet the emerging threats,” she said. “The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the ongoing commitment and innovation of our teams to meet current warfighter needs through continued product deliveries and ship installations.”

A combat system is a physically or functionally integrated set of mission-critical and mission-support elements capable of accomplishing the plan-detect-control-engage-assess functions across multiple mission areas. 

As the new head of the Integrated Combat Systems Department – also known as V Department – Lacy is responsible for providing the overall leadership of Navy and joint warfare systems including concept development, technology advancement, test and evaluation and system certification for all surface ship combat systems and software for which the Integrated Combat Systems Department is responsible. 

“Our mission in V Department is to develop and deliver integrated combat systems to defeat our nation’s threats and enemies,” she said. “To achieve that, Dahlgren needs to continue identifying and demonstrating ways to deliver increased capabilities faster and be recognized as the Navy’s lead architect for the next generation combat system.”  

Lacy has held multiple command leadership positions in her career at Dahlgren. She served as the acting deputy department head for the NSWCDD Gun and Electric Weapon Systems Department in addition to her service as head of the Gun Weapon Systems Division and the Directed Energy Division. 

“Ms. Lacy was instrumental in support of the Navy installing two different laser systems on surface ships,” said Darren Barnes, NSWCDD deputy technical director. “With her MK 160 experience, Robin is also very familiar with large software development and combat system certification efforts which will be valuable insights in the Integrated Combat Systems Department.”

The MK 160 Mod 4 Gun Computing System – part of the system used against surface ships and close hostile aircraft that can support forces ashore with Naval Gunfire Support – receives target data from shipboard sensors to compute a ballistic solution. From this ballistic solution, it provides gun orders and selects projectile types. The MK 160 also generates the fire order to the gun mount.

Lacy has more than 23 years of experience working and leading naval weapon system development and integration projects across the entire acquisition spectrum.

Her experience in directed energy weapons ranges from high energy lasers and high power microwave systems to pulsed power technologies for electric weapons.

Experienced in Navy, Marine Corps, and Special Operations Command Gun Weapon Systems, Lacy led efforts to integrate engagement systems onto Marine Corps ground vehicles such as the Amphibious Assault Vehicle and the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicle. She also integrated engagement systems in the Joint Strike Fighter, Standard Missile, and the E-2C Hawkeye early warning aircraft.

Lacy has a Bachelor of Science in aerospace and ocean engineering from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and a Master of Science in engineering management from George Washington University. She holds a Defense Acquisition Workforce Improvement Act certification in Level III Systems Planning, Research, Development and Engineering.

NSWCDD’s mission is to provide research, development, test and evaluation, analysis, systems engineering, integration and certification of complex naval warfare systems related to surface warfare, strategic systems, combat and weapons systems associated with surface warfare. The command also provides system integration and certification for weapons, combat systems and warfare systems and fulfills other responsibilities assigned by the NSWC commander.