• June 20, 2024
  • BY Radius Indiana
  • Blog

Installation modernization remains top priority for Team Crane

By: Matt Craig, Director of Crane Community Support for Radius Indiana


Naval Support Activity (NSA), Crane was originally established in 1941 under the Bureau of Ordnance as the Naval Ammunition Depot for the production, testing and storage of military weaponry. More than 80 years later, the installation is now poised as a national leader in advanced technology development and testing from microelectronics, hypersonics, and semiconductors to pyrotechnics. With the evolution of the work being done inside the gates, it has become more apparent than ever that the buildings and infrastructure supporting these initiatives and its workforce need a significant upgrade after nearly a century of industry-leading growth and innovation.

Over the next several years, NSA Crane anticipates more than $500M of investment into facilities across the base, specifically for both Naval Surface Warfare Center (NSWC), Crane Division and Crane Army Ammunition Activity (CAAA). In fiscal year 2024 alone, nearly $30M in investment was announced for the creation and improvement of facilities, both for innovation and sustainment.

In March, NSWC Crane held a groundbreaking ceremony for a new strategic and hypersonics research, development, test and evaluation facility. This new capability supports advanced concept development and intends to provide a hub and research testbed to support analysis of glide body avionics hardware and software from any source. The benefit of a joint use facility such as this is the ability to leverage common computational data centers for more than one project. This will be the first of its kind on the installation and a major advancement for collaboration and shared resources between departments.

NSWC Crane also announced the construction of a new Strategic Systems Engineering Facility in April, that will expand existing capabilities by providing additional classified workspace for Strategic Systems hardware support. Additional future projects for NSWC Crane include a Composites Engineering Innovation Facility as well as Trusted Microelectronics Assurance Center, Unmanned Fusion Warfare Lab and Virtual Electronic Warfare and Mission Engineering Center.

The largest investment news comes from CAAA with plans for a state-of-the-art pyrotechnics facility. Expected to cost nearly $100M when complete in 2031, the facility is part of the Army’s modernization plan and provides more than 50,000 square feet for pyrotechnic production operations. For fiscal year 2024, CAAA will also invest nearly $10M in base rail and magazine repairs as well as break room renovations to align with its current focus on culture and inclusion.

The new pyrotechnics facility will be outfitted with new, modern-process equipment and additional manufacturing features to include remote operations capabilities, climate-controlled storage and magazines, curing huts and storage for finished items, as well as loading and packing capabilities Plans for improvements also include, fire protection and alarm systems, modernized information systems and cyber security measures and a closed-circuit television system.

Crane has served our country’s warfighters for the better part of a century, not only by meeting the current needs of our military, but by anticipating the challenges on the horizon. The forward-thinking leaders at Crane prioritize preparedness and are being deliberate and proactive in building the facilities and capabilities that will ensure our nation’s security. The installation’s strategic evolution and smart investments are why it, and its nearly 6,000-person workforce, continue to be one of the most valued and trusted resources for this generation and generations to come.