NUWC seeks partners on Virtual Submarine innovation

THE NAVAL UNDERSEA Warfare Center has made its Virtual Submarine, above, available to innovators in industry and academia as a tool for developing, testing and rapid-prototyping undersea warfare technologies. / COURTESY NAVAL UNDERSEA WARFARE CENTER
THE NAVAL UNDERSEA Warfare Center has made its Virtual Submarine, above, available to innovators in industry and academia as a tool for developing, testing and rapid-prototyping undersea warfare technologies. / COURTESY NAVAL UNDERSEA WARFARE CENTER

NEWPORT – The Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division Newport has made its Virtual Submarine available to innovators in industry and academia as a tool for developing, testing and rapid-prototyping undersea warfare technologies.

“If you have an idea or something to collaborate on, we have the tools and experts to work with you to take your idea to the next level,” said Marie Bussiere, head of the Undersea Warfare Combat Systems Department at NUWC. “We have to have collaborative partners.”

The Virtual Submarine comprises submarine electronic systems including combat control, radio, periscopes, antennas and sonar, as well as launchers, weapons and unmanned vehicles connected via a secure campus network. Able to emulate any submarine in the U.S. Navy fleet, the Virtual Submarine allows NUWC and its partners to experiment with integration, life cycle support and other capabilities to advance both current and emerging submarine technologies.

Citing its objective to support the mission of the U.S. Navy, NUWC encouraged industry and academic institutions in southeastern New England and beyond to take advantage of the Virtual Submarine to help develop those technologies in collaboration with NUWC.

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“We are uniquely equipped to get faster because of our work with the fleet, but there’s certainly room for improvement, and we can’t do it alone,” said NUWC Commander Rear Admiral Moises DelToro in a statement. “We want to create an ‘HOV’ lane to get capabilities across the bridge faster to the warfighter, with room in the car for additional passengers from other government agencies, industry and academic institutions. We’re doing this in a variety of ways, including refining existing technologies like the Virtual Submarine.”

During last month’s National Defense Industry Association conference in Groton, Conn., NUWC invited attendees to visit Newport for a tour of the Virtual Submarine. The event showcased the Virtual Submarine’s latest addition, the Virginia Payload Tube Facility, which simulates a Virginia-class submarine cruise-missile strike from receiving mission data to executing the strike.

Marshall Prouty, an engineer at General Dynamics Electric Boat who attended the demonstration, said, “It’s nice to see the hardware in person and to get away from the PowerPoint, to see these systems in isolation, which you can’t do when you’re touring a submarine.”

For more information about the Virtual Submarine, contact John Bowdren at john.bowdren@navy.mil or James Broadmeadow at james.broadmeadow@navy.mil.

Galen Auer is a PBN contributing writer. Email galen.auer@gmail.com or follow on Twitter at @PBNAuer.

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