US Navy Inaugurates Strategic Missions Facility Construction in Indiana

The US Navy has begun the construction of a new strategic missions facility at the Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC) Crane Division in Indiana.

The Strategic Systems Engineering Facility (SSEF) is a research and development site providing engineering and test capabilities to support the agency’s integrated systems.

Solutions produced with the site’s assistance will be utilized under the US Department of Defense’s deterrence triad, which comprises intercontinental, submarine-launched, and aerial ballistic missiles.

The Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), the US Strategic Command (STRATCOM), and the Strategic Systems Programs (SSP) led the groundbreaking ceremony.

“NAVSEA’s investment at NSWC Crane with the SSEF will provide crucial capabilities to help maximize the effectiveness of the sea-based leg of the strategic deterrence triad, the most survivable leg of the triad,” STRATCOM Commander Gen. Anthony Cotton stated.

“The deterrence and combat capability USSTRATCOM provides is the bedrock of all operations and foundational to national and international security.”

An artist rendering of a Columbia-class nuclear submarine breaching the surface. The top half of the submarine can be seen above the water surrounding it.
The Congressional Commissions report pushes for a strategy reform that will stress the need for stronger nuclear countermeasures. Photo: US Navy

The US Army Corps of Engineers – Louisville District in Kentucky will oversee construction works at the SSEF.

The facility is scheduled for completion by the end of 2025.

Maintaining Strategic Systems Capabilities

According to the US Navy, the SSEF is among the critical infrastructure projects being managed to support the agency’s SSP segment.

Since the 1950s, the SSP office has provided “credible” missile systems to support warfighters at sea.

“NSWC Crane’s investment in infrastructure and people highlights the unwavering support to the development of SSP’s critical sea based deterrence capabilities that we have come to rely on in our 65 years of partnership,” SSP Plans and Programs Director Kelly Lee said.

“As SSP embarks on the modernization of our strategic weapons system and development of new capabilities, the SSEF will be one more tool in our toolkit to ensure we are providing decisive combat power to the nation and our allies.”

Establishing ‘Necessary’ Foundations

Locations to operate in coordination with the SSEF include the Underwater Launch Test Facility, the Missile Technology Evaluation Facility, and the Joint Hypersonics Transition Office and Innovation Capability and Modernization Systems Engineering Field Activity facilities.

“NSWC Crane is nationally recognized for providing…engineering, support, and expertise for Strategic Systems Programs,” NSWC Crane Technical Director Dr. Angela Lewis remarked.

“State of the art facilities are a necessary foundation to advance strategic systems and to provide warfighters the best capabilities. SSEF enables the future success of providing long-lasting strategic missions support.”

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