Established in 1918 as a naval proving ground, the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Laboratory (NSWCDL) is the headquarters for the Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren Division.

As the premiere naval scientific and engineering institution, Dahlgren technology makes a difference in our military's ability to fight, win, and come home safely. Dahlgren can boast that it has “sighted” and certified every gun barrel on every surface craft ever used by the U.S. Navy. With its 18-mile range along the shores of the Potomac River and Machodoc Creek, the Dahlgren test range looks to the future - its booming guns pushing the envelope of ordnance and weaponry for tomorrow's Navy.

The Fleet of the future is being designed today and Dahlgren scientists and engineers are in the thick of it, lending their knowledge, expertise, and innovations so that our nation can never be outflanked by its adversaries. Even with brand new design concepts, current systems must be taken into account.

National attention is focused on military participation in non-traditional missions. Operations other-than-war, Homeland Defense, Chemical-Biological warfare protection, counter-terrorism, and counter-narcoterrorism are but a few of the examples of missions that are pressing.

In 2010, NSWCDD opened the doors of the Surface Sensor and Combat Systems Facility and smoothly transitioned the Navy Joint Tactical Information Distribution System (JTIDS)/Link 16 work to Dahlgren. Another expansion of effort was the standing up of the Marine Corps Programs Office (MCPO) in response to our increasing role in providing engineering and integration support to the expeditionary component of the maritime force.

By the end of 2010, NSWCDD engineers under the sponsorship of the Office of Naval Research (ONR) shattered the 2008 record for the electromagnetic railgun — with a test shot of 32-plus megajoules. This accomplishment brings the Navy much closer to the feasibility of a new surface ship weapon that will use a projectile driven by electrical energy.

First and foremost, NSWCDD's mission is to support our men and women in uniform in combat on land and at sea. We are in direct communication with the field and provide boots-on-the-ground support when needed. Our engineers support communications, surveillance and weapons systems that are critical to the execution of successful operations and to the safety of our military men and women in the field and at sea.

In addition to meeting warfighter needs, NSWCDD applied a set of unique tools and applications ready to support recovery efforts in time of crisis to provided support to the. NSWC Dahlgren Mission Assurance Division provided nearly 20 analysts who shared data with responders to Haiti earthquake victims and relief organizations, including the Domestic Preparedness Branch of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.

Here at home NSWCDD scientists and engineers share technology by participating in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) activities and other programs that promote the youth of our community to pursue careers in technical disciplines Through these programs and educational partnerships with local schools, NSWCDD actively seeks opportunities to give area youths a panorama of the world of science and engineering.

NSWC Dahlgren's broad spectrum of unique resources, including workforce, infrastructure, and relationships with industry, have already made it a premier naval scientific and engineering institution that is dedicated to solving a diverse set of complex technical problems confronting the warfighter, whether on land, in the air, on the sea or in space.