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NEWS | July 22, 2022

NSWC Crane holds ribbon cutting for Navy submarine testing facility, celebrates 25 years of submarine support

By Sarah K. Miller, NSWC Crane Corporate Communications

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division (NSWC Crane) held a ribbon cutting ceremony for a unique submarine testing facility for the U.S. Navy on July 21 on the installation. The Submarine Battery Evaluation Center (SUBBEC) test facility was built to better test and evaluate Submarine batteries. The first test and evaluation of cells using SUBBEC is anticipated to take place this fall.

NSWC Crane has served as the In Service Engineering Agent (ISEA) for underwater vehicle batteries dating back to the 1980s and includes engineering support such as battery design, manufacturing, and testing. In 1996, the Submarine Main Storage Battery (MSB) ISEA moved to NSWC Crane. The ribbon cutting event will also be NSWC Crane’s 25th anniversary of the submarine main storage battery ISEA supporting the submarine fleet.

The Program Office for Submarine Main Storage Batteries (PMS 392) funded SUBBEC. Captain Garrett Burkholder, the Program Manager for PMS 392, says SUBBEC provides crucial capability to the fleet.

“Simply put, our nation’s submarines cannot operate without a main storage battery that provides adequate, predictable performance,” says Capt. Burkholder. “The work done by NSWC Crane as the battery ISEA is critically important to our ability to sustain submarine operations. Completion of the SUBBEC facility illustrates NAVSEA’s ongoing commitment to operating world class laboratory facilities, and represents a quantum leap in our submarine battery test facilities by providing a unique capability to operate a complete submarine main storage battery in a lab environment.”

The U.S. Navy has a need for dependable power systems, which requires testing and evaluation of batteries. SUBBEC will provide full scale submarine battery and energy storage testing and modeling capabilities unique to the Navy. SUBBEC better evaluates design or profile changes prior to implementation of profile changes to the Fleet. SUBBEC testing will improve the Navy's ability to predict, control, and mitigate low capacity batteries.

Bryan Parker, the Submarine Battery Engineering Manager (EM) at NSWC Crane supporting the Battery Technical Warrant Holder (TWH) at Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Headquarters, says SUBBEC provides significant cost savings to the Navy.

“Before, testing required it to be manned, which is costly,” says Parker. “With SUBBEC, we can test submarine batteries and operate the testing 24/7 without constant management. We can run years of testing without huge cost to the program.”

Trent Frady, the Supervisor for the Undersea Power and Energy Systems Branch at NSWC Crane, says SUBBEC provides technically rigorous battery testing.

“Not only can it be testing 24/7, 365, but also, the test facility provides the capability to test a full battery string,” says Frady, “Usually, testing facilities test six to twelve battery cells, but with SUBBEC, we can test up to 256 cells at the same time. This means we no longer have to extrapolate from the results of six to twelve cells what a full battery is doing capability-wise. This provides a technical rigor capability increase that was missing before and ensures we have the best battery profiles going to the Fleet.”

SUBBEC supports both NSWC Crane mission areas of Expeditionary Warfare and Strategic Missions.

EMN1(SS) Jonathan Galusky, a Process Supervisor at NSWC Crane, is an active duty sailor serving as an engineering technician in the battery laboratory.

“SUBBEC provides a new capability for our group here at Power and Energy Systems Division at NSWC Crane to evaluate a full scale submarine storage battery,” says Galusky. “Our team works hard to ensure that the testing that will take place here directly benefits sailors as well as improve the operational capability of our submarine platforms.”


Parker says being part of establishing this capability is meaningful to him.

“For me it’s significant to provide the Fleet the best battery possible—we get to impact the Fleet directly,” says Parker. “The submarines are there providing strategic defense. We take great pride in testing these batteries and providing this capability to the Fleet.”

Frady says the implementation of SUBBEC provides the warfighter with added capability.

“The ultimate impact is to support the warfighter—that’s the first thing on everyone’s mind,” says Frady. “Nowhere else in the U.S. does the Navy have a next generation test system used to evaluate next generation submarines—with SUBBEC we’ll be supporting the warfighter today and tomorrow.”

About NSWC Crane | NSWC Crane is a naval laboratory and a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) with mission areas in Expeditionary Warfare, Strategic Missions and Electronic Warfare. The warfare center is responsible for multi-domain, multi- spectral, full life cycle support of technologies and systems enhancing capability to today's Warfighter.

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