PORT HUENEME, Calif.— Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division (NSWC PHD) hosted a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Navy’s only dedicated facility to test, fire and evaluate complete laser weapons systems in a maritime environment on Dec. 3 at Naval Base Ventura County (NBVC), Point Mugu with local dignitaries and Navy officials in attendance.
Positioned by the Point Mugu Sea Range, the Directed Energy Systems Integration Laboratory (DESIL) is nearly 18,500 square feet. The range includes 36,000 miles of controlled air, sea and space operated by Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, and will allow the Navy to test and evaluate laser weapons systems in a maritime environment.
Capt. Robert “Barr” Kimnach, III, commanding officer of Naval Base Ventura County, stated “first and only” is an important distinction that demonstrates the diverse capability of NBVC.
“A tremendous amount of teamwork was applied to this project; which delivers additional growth while providing technology-driven systems to the fleet,” Kimnach said. “We have an outstanding relationship with Naval Sea Systems Command and Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command, and we look forward to supporting this, as well as other emerging technology projects, here at NBVC.”
With the facility located at NBVC, Point Mugu, the environment will expand directed energy testing capabilities and allow for realistic challenges for the Navy, said NSWC PHD Commanding Officer Capt. Andrew Hoffman.
“As the Navy’s directed energy test and evaluation, installation and maintenance experts, DESIL gives us the ability to test in an environment that our fleet is going to deploy in, making sure these weapons are going to be sustainable for the future,” Hoffman said.
In addition to testing weapons, another purpose for DESIL is utilization by the Department of Defense, private industry and academia directed energy experts for future collaboration. The project broke ground May 5, 2020. Harper Construction Co. Inc. of San Diego was awarded a Military Construction contract with an estimated cost of around $23 million to construct DESIL.
NSWC PHD is a field activity of Naval Sea Systems Command and provides the U.S. Navy fleet with in-service engineering, test and evaluation, and product support for combat systems. The command is located at Naval Base Ventura County.
Naval Surface Warfare Center, Port Hueneme Division
Theresa McKenrick, Director, Public Affairs and Congressional Affairs Division