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Naval Warfare Center pursuing new partnerships: (Crane division touts rapid-deployment success in supporting forces in Iraq).

The Naval Surface Warfare Center, in Crane, Ind., has established a technical assistance program to provide expertise to companies needing help with product development and production.

The Crane division of the NSWC is the Navy's third largest facility worldwide, with 63,000 acres, 3,000 buildings, 1,600 ordnance magazines and a $2 billion investment in facilities.

Of Crane's 3,800 employees, about half are engineering and technology experts.

For Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom, Crane shipped 96 million pounds of ordnance and electronic products. It also fulfilled thousands of equipment repair and technical assistance requests.

Crane supports the avionics upgrades to the U.S. military's only tactical jamming aircraft, the EA-6B. It provides biological and chemical detection equipment to the Navy and other defense customers. Other programs Crane supports include air and surface electronic warfare systems such as the AN/ALQ-99 and AN/SLQ-32, integrated force protection systems, micro-electronic components and subsystems, ammunition, small arms, electro-chemical power sources, microwave power tubes, electronic interconnection boards, radiation hardened electronic components and pyrotechnic devices.

Following are some examples of new technologies developed at Crane:

The IROS. The Integrated Radar Optical Surveillance and Sighting System is a shipboard force protection system. It networks existing navigation radar, global positioning, imaging, electro-optic and night vision, stabilized small arms, high-powered searchlights, digital nautical charts and high resolution displays.

Marine Combat Headquarters, Southern Iraq. In December 2002, Crane was asked to design, build, test, and deliver a new mobile combat operations center for immediate deployment to the Middle East.

The design consisted of five trailers housing the required communications and electronics gear, along with two trailers that would provide hotel/housing services for the command center.

The system was delivered to Camp Pendleton in January 2003.

NSWC Crane also sent a team of 25 engineers, technicians, and explosive workers to Camp Fox, Kuwait, to participate in Marine Corps Class V (W) Ground Ammunition Reconstitution, Regeneration, and Retrograde (R3) Operations.

The munitions team was responsible for assessing the safety and quality of the ammunition in country.

Marine Mammal Mine Hunting Systems. The marine mammal program used dolphins for mine clearing operations at Umm Qasr, Iraq. The dolphins were used to locate and mark mines with the MK 7 marine mammal system.

It was discovered shortly prior to deployment that the MK 7 system batteries were unserviceable due to age. Crane was asked to help expedite procurement, production, testing and delivery of 250 batteries in January 2003.

This enabled the Naval Special Clearance Team One to deploy.

Infrared decoy flares. These are essential to the protection of naval aircraft from surface-to-air or air-to-air heat seeking missiles. In April 2001, the major producer of Navy decoy flares stopped production because of a fatal plant fire accident. The program manager requested interim production by a Crane Navy/Army team. The order was for 26,000 MJU-32/B decoy flares.

Partnerships

Crane has been involved in many partnership agreements--38 for research, more than 228 for testing and 53 for goods and services. Some examples include:

* A miniaturized handheld, battery operated, mass spectrometer developed through an agreement with Purdue University. This makes detection of chemical and biological contaminates portable.

* The Knowledge Projection project is an alliance between Crane, Purdue University and Indiana University that will improve distance support of fleet maintenance.

* Crane, Rose-Hulman Technical Institute and Auburn University have established the Electronic Interconnection Center of Excellence (E-ICE) to strengthen Crane's ability to support the military's printed circuit board requirements.

* Crane, CINergy (a regional electric utility company), Ballard (a fuel cell manufacturer) and Indiana University have teamed to study fuel cell technology, looking at potential military and civilian uses.

* The Indiana University Cyclotron Facility has partnered with Crane in the area of Radiation Hardness assurance for microelectronic components and subsystems. This extends the overall capability of both partners and provides a one-stop shop for their customer base.

* Crane and ITT are working together to provide containment and modernization of missile warning, missile defense, and space surveillance sensors.

* Crane and EG&G have a working relationship that allows EG&G to provide electronic support in non-personal professional, technical and management areas.

* Crane and CSC have teamed in the areas of data processing and its associated information technology support.

* Crane and EDSI are working to stand-up the Navy-Marine Corp Intranet (NMCI). This program will provide the U.S. Navy and U.S. Marine Corps with secure, universal access to voice, video and data information exchange services.

* Crane and TSC have been partners since 1980 in support of the AEGIS microwave tube and associated programs. Services include acceptance testing both at vendor facilities and Crane, engineering change proposal analysis, environmental effects, requirements modeling, logistic support, and manufacturing methods.

* Crane and SAIC have a working relationship that allows SAIC to provide ordnance support in non-personal professional, technical and management areas.

* Crane and Raytheon have teamed to support a wide range of efforts, including: the evaluation and testing of the Sidewinder MK 13 MOD 2 Safety and Arming Device; the assembly and system integration of an ALE-47 ship sets; fabrication of an MK141 Mod 1 battery, and the repair of vehicle telemetry units.

* Crane and United Defense collaborated in the fabrication of an electronic fuze setter MK-34 Mod 1.

* Crane and Lockheed Martin teamed to validate devices considered for use in outer space by utilizing the Crane LINAC facility and by providing hardware to support computer systems used for collecting data during missions.

Dave Reece is executive director of the Southern Indiana Business Alliance.
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Author:Reece, Dave
Publication:National Defense
Date:Nov 1, 2003
Words:915
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