UK & World News

  • 31 August 2014, 6:36

Naval Gazing: Future Warships Put To The Test

Sky News cameras have been granted rare access to a secret US naval facility which tests submarines and warships of the future.

The Naval Surface Warfare Centre is a sprawling site in the state of Maryland just a few miles from the Pentagon and CIA headquarters.

For more than half-a-decade it has put scale models of some of the world's most sophisticated vessels through rigorous exercises to prepare for the open ocean during peacetime and war.

And at a time when military budgets are being cut, the facility is being used more than ever due to the need to test ships before they are actually built.

At the centre of the facility is a huge water basin, the size of an American football field, the equivalent of 18 Olympic-sized swimming pools, which is the biggest of its kind in the world.

Brand new technology is being used to recreate any type of wave and simulate sea conditions around the world giving scientists a unique tool to test almost any submarine or ship.

Technical director Dr Tim Arcano told Sky News: "Up front when we do any design work, it's very important we use modelling and simulation to anticipate and predict what the effect on that ship is going to be.

"This will ensure that the real thing is built properly and our work here ensures the safety of those who sail on these vessels and the equipment places on them. It is a cool place."

The site, which had to be built on bedrock because of the weight of the water, is funded by the federal government and gives the US Navy vital information about its current and future fleet.

One of the test directors, Calvin Krishen, described the facility as "unique".

"This is where we have the opportunity to test concepts as well as existing ships for building new systems for navy capabilities," he said.

"That's part of my job, designing those models and the software components that go inside of them."

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