Crane Launches New Missile Research Facility

Crane expands to meet demand for nuclear weapon systems.

submarine

Photo: Submarine Group Ten (Flickr)

The U.S.S. Wyoming is one of the Ohio Class submarines that carries the Trident Missile, a weapon the new facility at Crane works with.

A new strategic weapons systems facility will open next week at Crane’s Naval Surface Warfare Center in Greene County.  Applied Science Department Head Brian Blackwell says the facility was built in order to meet an increased demand for components of nuclear weapons.

“The naval strategic weapons system really accounts for about 70% of the nation’s nuclear deterrents,” Blackwell says.

Blackwell says much of the new facility will consist of laboratories where weapons systems will be tested for reliability, but no full weapons will be assembled.  The components make up weapons such as the latest version of the Trident missile, a submarine launched ballistic missile which has been used by the Navy for almost 50 years.

“That’s a very complex system and we’re involved in really every aspect of the system.  The weapon, the missile itself, the electronics associated with that as well as the platform that it’s on to make sure that it works if and when it’s called upon,” Blackwell says.

Blackwell says the additional space will not create new jobs but rather bring employees together from less modern labs.  A ribbon-cutting ceremony will take place on June 13.

Kyle Clayton

Kyle Clayton is a WFIU news producer. He is currently studying journalism at Indiana University and comes to WFIU following an internship in the fall of 2011. After serving in the U.S. Army, he returned home to Indiana in 2008 to begin his education and pursue his interests in writing.

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