610 Dowell Street
Keyport, WA 98345-7610
Division, Keyport, one of two divisions of the Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC), provides Fleet readiness support for submarines, surface ships, torpedoes, mines, land attack systems, and Fleet training systems.
Support services we provide includes in-service engineering, test and evaluation, custom engineered solutions, and cutting-edge technologies that sustain and maintain our nation’s Undersea Warfare Systems.
NUWC Keyport is located on Puget Sound, with the Olympic Mountain range to the west and the Cascade Mountain range to the east. Our remote locations provide similar beauty with test and evaluation facilities for USW ships and systems located in Nanoose, British Columbia; Pearl Harbor and Ford Island, Hawaii; San Diego, California; Hawthorne, Nevada; and Guam.
Keyport Test Ranges
The Navy has conducted underwater testing in Puget Sound since 1914, when the Pacific Coast Torpedo Station was established at Keyport. This station has been associated with aspects of virtually all major developments in undersea warfare systems since its operational inception. NUWC Keyport has the mission, organization, facilities, and expertise to support advancements in undersea systems, including the assembly, production acceptance (proofing), testing, and evaluation of these systems as part of their integration into operational Fleet elements. Testing conducted by NUWC Keyport not only provides critical validation of the Navy’s undersea devices and craft but also represents an important Homeland Security component.
Keyport Range Site
The Navy has conducted underwater testing at the Keyport Range Site since 1914. Located adjacent to NUWC Keyport, this range provides approximately 1.5 square nautical miles (nm2) (5.1 square kilometers [km2]) of shallow underwater testing, including in-shore shallow water sites and a shallow lagoon to support integrated undersea warfare systems and vehicle maintenance and engineering activities Water depth at the Keyport Range Site is less than 100 ft (30.5 m). Underwater tracking of test activities is accomplished by using temporary or portable range equipment.. The range site also supports:
1) detection, classification, and localization test objectives and 2) magnetics measurement programs. Explosive warheads are not placed on test units or tested within the Keyport Range Site. The Keyport Range Site is charted as a Restricted Area on NOAA Navigation Chart 18446 (NOAA 2007b).
Dabob Bay Range Complex (DBRC) Site
The Navy has conducted underwater testing at the DBRC Site since 1956, beginning with a control center at Whitney Point. The control center was subsequently moved to Zelatched Point. Currently, DBRC Site assets include the Dabob Bay Military Operating Area (MOA), the Hood Canal North and South MOAs adjacent to Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor, and the Connecting Waters. The DBRC Site is the Navy’s premier location within the U.S. for RDT&E of underwater systems such as torpedoes, countermeasures, targets, and ship systems.
Primary activities at the DBRC Site support proofing of underwater systems, research and development test support, and Fleet training and tactical evaluations involving aircraft, submarines, and surface ships. Tests and evaluations of underwater systems, from the first prototype and pre-production stages up through Fleet activities (inception to deployment), ensure reliability and availability of underwater systems and their Fleet components. As with the Keyport Range Site, there are no explosive warheads tested or placed on test units. The DBRC Site also supports acoustic/magnetic measurement programs. These programs include underwater vehicle/ship noise/magnetic signature recording, radiated sound investigations, and sonar evaluations. In the course of these activities, various combinations of aircraft, submarines, and surface ships are used as launch platforms. Test equipment may also be launched or deployed from shore off a pier or placed in the water by hand.
NUWC Keyport conducts activities in four underwater testing areas at the DBRC Site:
Dabob Bay MOA – a deep-water range in Jefferson County approximately 14.5 nm2 (49.9 km2) in size. The acoustic tracking space within the range is approximately 7.3 by 1.3 nm (13.4 by 2.3 km) (9 nm2 [31 km2]) with a maximum depth of 600 ft (183 m). The Dabob Bay MOA is the principal range and the only component of the DBRC Site with extensive acoustic monitoring instrumentation installed on the seafloor, allowing for object tracking, communications, passive sensing, and target simulation. Activities within the Dabob Bay MOA are supported by landbased facilities at Zelatched Point. The Zelatched Point area occupies 28 acres (11 ha) of land owned by the Navy overlooking Dabob Bay. The pier at Zelatched Point, which was historically used for float planes and range craft, will be refurbished in the future. There is also a landing pad at Zelatched Point to support helicopter activities.
Hood Canal MOAs – two deep-water operating areas adjacent to Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor in Hood Canal with an average depth of 200 ft (61 m). Hood Canal MOA South is approximately 4.5 nm2 (15.4 km2) in size and Hood Canal MOA North is approximately 7.9 nm2 (27.0 km2). The Hood Canal MOAs are used for vessel sensor accuracy tests and launch and recovery of test systems where tracking is optional.
Connecting Waters – the portion of the Hood Canal that connects the Dabob Bay MOA with the Hood Canal MOAs (Figure 1-4). The shortest distance between the Dabob Bay MOA and Hood Canal MOA South by water is approximately 3.8 nm (7.0 km) and the total area of the Connecting Waters is approximately 5.8 nm2 (19.8 km2). Water depth in the Connecting Waters is typically greater than 300 ft (91 m). The connecting waters are used for sensor accuracy tests and launch and recovery of test systems where tracking is optional. Chart 18458 (NOAA 2007a).
Quinault Underwater Tracking Range (QUTR) Site
The Navy has conducted underwater testing at the QUTR Site since 1981 and maintains a control center at the Kalaloch Ranger Station. As at the other range sites, no explosive warheads are used at the QUTR Site. The QUTR Site is a rectangular-shaped test area of about 48.3 nm2 (165.5 km2), located approximately 6.5 nm (12 km) off the Pacific Coast at Kalaloch, Washington. Water depth at the QUTR Site is less than 400 ft (122 m). It lies within the boundaries of the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary (OCNMS).
The QUTR Site is instrumented to track surface vessels, submarines, and various undersea vehicles. Bottom sensors are permanently mounted on the sea floor for tracking and are maintained and configured by the Navy. The sensors are connected to the shore via cables, which extend under the beach to the bluffs and end at a Navy trailer and communication tower in Kalaloch (National Park Service [NPS] property). In addition, portable range equipment may be set up prior to conducting various activities on the range and removed after it is no longer needed. All communications are sent back to NUWC Keyport for monitoring.
The QUTR Site is part of the Northwest Training Range Complex and it underlies a portion of Warning Area (W)-237A, a component of the larger airspace unit W-237. This airspace complex comprises the northern portion of the Pacific Northwest Ocean Surface/Subsurface Operating Area (OPAREA), NOAA chart number 18500 (NOAA 2006b). Activities in this airspace are scheduled and coordinated with Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island and Commander Submarine Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet (COMSUBPAC).