NIWC Pacific

NIWC Pacific

Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific


Formerly SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific (SSC Pacific)

Naval Information Warfare Center Pacific provides the U.S. Navy and military with essential capabilities in the areas of:

  • Full lifecycle engineering for information warfare
  • Robust research, development, and technology transition
  • Applied electromagnetics, photonics, and atmospheric propagation
  • Development of offensive and defensive cyber capabilities
  • Positioning, navigation, and timing laboratory and test facilities
  • Rapid prototyping and delivery
  • Cloud-based digital development environment, cloud-enabled digital twins (aka “Digital Abe”, “Digital TR”), DevSecOps, Agile
  • Machine learning, artificial Intelligence, data science, decision optimization
  • Development and support of unmanned systems (UUV, USV, UAV)

The Center’s Workforce
  • NWIC Pacific employs a highly educated, diverse, multidisciplinary workforce of more than 5,200 computer scientists, electrical engineers, cyber engineers, AI/ML scientists, technical specialists, contract managers and more, who hold more than 200 Ph.D./J.D. degrees, and approximately 1,500 master’s degrees.
  • The lab, located in San Diego, California, is ranked as a top generator of patents and license agreements. With 81 issued patents in FY20, the Center’s active IP portfolio (invention disclosures, filed patent applications and issue patents) grew to over 1,100.
  • FY20 also saw 59 active Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs) signifying research and development partnerships with industry and academia. These CRADAs allow parties to share resources, personnel, equipment and costs.
  • NIWC Pacific’s workforce also includes the largest number of active-duty military personnel stationed at any naval laboratory or warfare center. Approximately 32% of the workforce is made up of active duty, reservists and veterans. This unique arrangement combines the fleet and operational expertise of the warfighter with the skills of the Center’s research staff to tackle real-world problems facing the U.S. today and in the future.

Economic Impact
  • More than $20 billion awarded to local industry, small business and academia in past 15 years
  • Extensive lab/engineering facilities
  • Growing, credentialed cyber and cybersecurity workforce

In San Diego we are close to many of America’s top defense contractors, global leaders in digital communications and computing, world-class educational institutions and major Navy and DoD commands. We actively partner with industry, academia and other government and non-government entities.

Downtown San Diego skyline

We offer unique laboratory settings and simulated operational environments that are unachievable elsewhere—San Clemente Island, BMD/L16 combined test bed, live virtual and constructive environments. Our facilities allow us to create large-scale virtual integrated systems to support architecture development, systems engineering, acquisition, training and fleet operations.

NIWC Pacific is located in San Diego, California, with detachments in Hawaii, Guam and Japan.

Current research and development
  • Aegis Ashore: This land-based capability of the Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (BMD) system provides increased capability for countering ballistic missile threats. NIWC Pacific is designated as the lead test and evaluation agent for the C4I component of the Aegis Ashore weapon system.
  • Battlespace Exploitation of Mixed Reality laboratory (BEMR): Team members manipulate cutting-edge, low-cost commercial off-the-shelf, mixed reality technology (virtual and augmented).

Ballistic Missile Defense test bed (left).  Virtual and augmented reality in the BEMR lab (right).

  • Joint Space Operations Center Mission System program: (JMS) provides space situation awareness and command and control operations.
  • Distributed Common Ground System-Navy engineering and integration effort (DCGS-N Increment 2): Will provide robust, integrated ISR capability that makes maximum use of commercial off-the-shelf and mature non-developmental items or government software.
  • Maritime Tactical Command and Control ​(MTC2): Will provide a single, interoperable, integrated, scalable command and control system that fuses, correlates, filters, and displays location and attribute information on friendly, hostile, and neutral land, sea, and air forces.
  • Consolidated Afloat Networks and Enterprise Services (CANES): Represents a key aspect of the Navy’s modernization planning by upgrading cybersecurity, command and control, communications and intelligence systems. The enhanced degree of standardization will reduce the number of network variants by ship class across the fleet.
  • Mobile User Objective System (MUOS): Provides improved and secure communications for mobile warfighters, including simultaneous voice, video, and data.