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September 21, 2016     The Westmoreland Journal
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September 21, 2016

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8 Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016 THE JOURNAL JOHN J. JOYCE NSWC Dahlgren Division Corporate Communications DAHLGREN, Va. - The U.S. Navy evaluated a strike group's gun weap- on systems, combat systems, and unmanned vehicles' interoperability with surface and air assets while fir- ing on targets at the 2016 USS Dahl- gren demonstration on Aug. 30. R was the first time an entire Navy strike group was brought together in a land-based environment spanning the entire kill chain plan, detect, control, engage and assess. "This demonstration integrated capabilities across multiple labo- ratories, utilizing unmanned and manned sensor platforms, engag- ing a hostile swarm threat of surface craft attacking a virtual naval battle- group consisting of a Nimitz clasg~ aircraft carrier, an Aegis class crui~&' and an Independence class Littoral Combat Ship," said Nell Baron, Na- val Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division distinguished scientist for combat control. At one point, senior Navy offi- cials -- flag officers, commanding officers, and two-dozen senior ex- ecutives watched engineers fire a 30 millimeter gun on the Potomac River Test Range from their Littoral Combat Ship's Surface Warfare Mis- sion Package Command and Control laboratory several miles away. "This event brings it all togeth- er," said Rear Adm. Tom Druggan, NSWC commander. "We have to field systems that are a slam dunk win for the Navy. When push comes to shove, the Navy has to win. Our job is to make sure the fleet wins to- day and in the future." The test -- made possible by a cybernetic laboratory called USS Dahlgren conducted engagement coordination with virtual and hard- ware representations of systems on the USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74), USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), and USS Independence (LCS 2) during live fire destruction of surface threats us- ing the LCS 30 millimeter, Aegis MK 46 gun system's 5-inch guns, and simulated Hellfire missiles. "This has been five to six years in the making and couldn't come at a better time as we see real-world events such as the recent small boat incursions in the Middle East, high- lighting the need for the Fleet," said Capt. Brian Durant, NSWCDD com- manding officer. Druggan, Durant and their coun- terparts watched as actual combat system equipment from the aircraft carrier and two surface combatant laboratories directed live fire on the Potomac River Test Range as ficti- tious surface threats attempted to attack. The live fire engagements contin- ued throughout the scenario, dem- onstrating integration of currently fielded capabilities from MH-60R and MH-60S Seahawk helicopters to the Aegis Combat System and the Ship Self-Defense System -- with new technologies such as Virtual Automatic Scoring System. The NSWCDD-patented VASS calculates gunfire miss distances and adjusts targeting for gunners to con- verge gunfire onto a target without risking the lives of forward observ- ers. Live targets were quickly de- U.S. Nay ' Mass Communication PHILIPPINE SEA -The Nimitz-class Aircraft carriers USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) and USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) conduct dual aircraft carrier strike group operations in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations. Navy scientists and engineers evaluated a simulation of the Stennis strike group's gun weapon systems, combat systems, and unmanned vehicles integrated with surface and air assets at the 2016 USS Dahlgren demonstration, Aug. 30. stroyed at safe distances as more than 60 visitors observed the power of integration. They watched as Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division impacted the demonstration with air domain assets and expertise. The NAWCAD Surface Aviation Interoperability Lab 'RoadHawk' tractor trailer with its MH-60R Seahawk surface attack he- licopter's avionics suite and a mobile van carrying an MH-60S helicopter provided over-the-horizon threat contact, identification, tracking and simulated Hellfire engagements. "By utilizing multiple laboratories and live capabilities across the Navy, we areable to model a very realistic, complex battle space environment to thoroughly test our weapon systems" said Amy Markowich, NAWCAD In- tegrated Battlespace Simulation and Test Department director. "Combin- ing live, virtual and constructive as- sets such as the Roadhawk, virtual- ized and hardware-in-the-loop ship simulations, and the LCS 30 milli- meter gun here at Dahlgren, make it possible to evaluate how multiple Navy assets will work together easily and at a much reduced cost." The event's first scenario fea- tured simulated engagements on maneuvering targets, proving the Navy's ability to use manned and unmanned platforms for early over- the-horizon detection and tracking as well as future unmanned surface vehicle engagements. USS Dahlgren facilitates this mis- sion with high fidelity testing that leveragesboth hardware-in-the loop and virtual combat systems. "All testing occurred within the fence in, an environment that does not impact Navy ships or crew members," said Steven Shannon, USS Dahlgren tactical operations lead: "The testing normally required aboard a Navy ship and other high- demand sites can be now accom- plished through USS Dahlgren in- cluding eapability at other warfare centers." cial for increased tempo encounters," Its integrated testing capabilities said Nelson Mills, USS Dahlgren ensure that test and evaluation re- 'co-lead investigator and capabilities sources can rapidly adapt to chang- development lead. "The short-term ing warfighters' needs, goal for USS Dahlgren is to lever- In this case, USS Dahlgren created age and connect to existing Naval a land-based air and surface repre- infrastructure at NR&DE [Naval sentation of a strike group. In the fu- Research and Development Estab- ture, the goal is to bring in additional lishment] sites and to virtualize any undersea capability through collabo- missing elements as necessary, creat- ration with other warfare centers, ing an air, surface, undersea test bed "The level of complexity shown in that replicates our current and future this demonstration directly reflects strike groups." the complexity our operational units In a 2014 test, the USS Dahlgren see in theaters of operation today," -- a Navy Innovative Science and said Melissa Smith, USS Dahlgren Engineering funded-test bed -- lead investigator and Integrated Lab proved it could integrate unmanned Council lead. "This land-based abilb vehicles into the fire control loop of a ty to recreate the complexity of naval major weapon system aboard a sur: surface warfare helps us to find new face combatant. technologies and repurpose current "Efforts, like what we saw today, technologies and equipment. This is allow the Navy to explore new tech- the primary mission of our laborato- nologies and rapidly evaluate and ry environment across the nation -- deploy new capabilities to the Fleet. maintaining technologicaladvantage The USS Dahlgren modeling and for our surface fleet." simulation work is leading the way USS Dahlgren increases this ad- for the Naval Research and Develop- vantage by providing a mechanism ment Establishment," said Marko- to measure latencies, develop draft wich, the Department of the Navy concept of operations, and influence Modeling and Simulation executive systems to improve the entire detect- for the Assistant Secretary of the to-engage kill-chain. Navy (Research, Development and "Early findings and adjustments Acquisition). with respect to the kill-chain are cru- Meanwhile, NSWCDD plans to Dunn Navy engineers Jonathan Elliott and Richard Lay conduct pre-launch check-outs of a Scan Eagle unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) at the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division Potomac River Test Range, Aug. 30. The Scan Eagle was crucial to the Navy's evaluation of a strike group's gun weapon systems, combat systems, and unmanned vehicles integrated with surface and air assets at the 2016 USS Dahlgren demon- stration. Navy Scan e e operators Ro Scott Heyman conduct launch and recovery efforts via Scan Eagle at the 2016 USS Dahlgren demonstration, Aug. 30. leverage USS Dahlgren to support over-the-air connectivity. integration of electromagnetic raft- "In effect, USS Dahlgren provides gun solid-state lasers, and other ini- a naval venue for research, develop- tiatives for risk mitigation prior to ment, test and evaluation that spans fielding, all aspects of the kill chain," said "This year we are taking the next Mills. "It provides for continuous big step for USS Dahlgren by inte- testing across the acquisition lifecy- grating the fire control loop in an cle in a high fidelity environment via ever increasing complex operational distributed network architectures." scenario," said Baron. This constant testing capability The fire control loop's compat- spans the acquisition lifecycle, fea- ibility with complex systems and turing off-site connectivity to in- missions is now a fact due to USS vestigate ship, battle force, and joint Dahlgren's.highly integrated lab en- force integration and the ability to vironment that can emulate a kill replicate the fleet environment to ad- chain, ship, or battle group while dress issues observed at sea. serving as a rapid prototyping and "These couldn't be more exciting experimentation platform, times for the naval scientist and en- This integration is made possible gineer," said Baron. "Designing and by Navy-wide infrastructure linked delivering new equipment is very to USS Dahlgren, including experi- important. We also have tremendous mental test ranges, waterfront, and intellectual talent across the Naval airspace; tactical and developmental Research and Development Estab- command and control laboratories, lishment to draw latent capabilities sensors, weapons, manned and un- out of the equipment we already manned platforms; hardware in the have by integrating things in new loop and virtualized combat systems; ways and enabling warfighting capa- and external connectivity via De- bilities that only a Navy battle group partment of Defense networks and can deliver." r DAHLGREN JOB THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 22 3 PM to'7 PM UNIV. OF MARY WASHINGTON ,4224 Univ. Dr., King George www. REGISTER and POST resume & NEW UPDATES Professional dress is required. Bring plenty copies of your resume. 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