Naval Surface Warfare Center/Indian Head

Naval Surface Warfare Center, Indian Head, MD

Only U.S. citizens will be considered for positions at this lab. No Dual Citizens will be considered for this facility.


Naval Surface Warfare Center Indian Head Explosive Ordnance Disposal Technology Division (NSWC IHEODTD) brings together the DoD’s largest full-spectrum facility for energetics – explosives, propellants, pyrotechnics, reactive materials, related chemicals and fuels used in ordnance and propulsion systems –with the largest concentration of EOD technology resources in the world.

NSWC IHEODTD’s main site is a 1,900-acre peninsula along the Potomac River in Indian Head, Md. The command also has a separate EOD campus at its nearby Stump Neck annex and detachment sites in McAlester, OK; Ogden, UT; Louisville, KY; and Picatinny, NJ.

NSWC IHEODTD has the largest DoD workforce dedicated to energetics and EOD – nearly 2,000 strong and comprised of more than 800 scientists and engineers, more than 50 holding doctorates. The command’s department includes a variety of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) employee disciplines including:

  • General engineering;
  • Aerospace engineering;
  • Chemical engineering;
  • Chemistry;
  • Electronics engineering;
  • Electrical engineering;
  • Material Science Engineering;
  • Mechanical engineering;
  • Physics.

The command’s unique synergy and balanced capabilities address all aspects of the energetics technical discipline including basic research, applied technology, technology demonstration, prototyping, engineering development, acquisition, low-rate production, scale-up, in-service engineering/mishaps, failure investigations, surveillance, EOD technology/information and demilitarization.

Mission-critical areas that comprise the command’s work include: energetic materials research, explosives/propellants development, detonation science, underwater warheads, chemical/physical characterization, chemical processing/nitration, high-energy propellants, extrusion production, cartridge-actuated devices/propellant-actuated devices, ordnance test and evaluation, weapon simulation and quality evaluation. NSWC IHEODTD is also working to establish an Innovation Laboratory to enable agile energetics development, facilitate external partnerships, retain/develop critical expertise, and drive cross-department collaboration.

At NSWC IHEODTD, we give our warfighters the advantage over our adversaries by flying farther, hitting harder and saving lives!


Research, Development, Test and Evaluation (RDT&E) Department

The RDT&E department serves as a principal agent for maintaining the DoD’s energetics research, development, and test and evaluation technology base. The department carries out multidisciplinary research programs with the objective of discovering and exploiting new and novel materials for high-energy material applications, the generation of new concepts associated with the behavior, and the development of advanced components based on these new and improved materials and concepts.    The research department also has the infrastructure and technology to additively manufacture (AM) new products with novel materials.

Energetics Manufacturing Department

The command’s Energetics Management department is the Navy’s sole provider of Cartridge Actuated Devices/Propellant Actuated Devices (CAD/PAD) used in aircraft ejection systems, emergency escape mechanisms, and other critical equipment utilized by the warfighter. The department also has the ability to quickly manufacture additive manufacturing prototype tooling and equipment.

The Energetics Management department is the sole manufacturer and provider of Otto Fuel II: a liquid torpedo monopropellant. The command’s facilities allow for the manufacturing of up to 250,000 pounds of Otto Fuel II annually for delivery to the U.S. Navy and its allies. NSWC IHEODTD has the capability to process 50 grams to a million pounds using a variety of different processes: composite formulations made in horizontal and vertical mixers, unique and specialty chemicals made in reactors, and pressed explosives both as cartridge loaded pellets and pressed directly into hardware. 

Systems Engineering Department

The Systems Engineering department is the principal agent for the application of energetics to meet fleet needs and missions. The department plans and executes the application of energetics from the earliest stage of acquisition development through actual item fielding, in-service, logistic, quality evaluation and final demilitarization phases. They maintain the core technical capabilities of energetic applications through expertise areas in warheads, propulsion, fuzing, energetic materials and safety, modeling and energetic-to-electronic interfaces for the Navy’s missiles, torpedoes and gun systems.  They use high-fidelity testing surrogate simulation tools to model underwater, air and buried blast explosion phenomena and target response to accelerate development and reduce costs, while guiding weapons development and systems survivability.

NSWC IHEODTD has the only explosively certified cleanroom in the country, which allows the command to integrate explosives with tiny electrical and mechanical components to create micro-electromechanical components. The department can design and create new products with both metal and polymer 3D manufacturing capabilities suitable for prototype production and manages the supply systems for aircrew escape ejection system CAD/PAD components allowing the warfighter to obtain any component within one week from order request.


Systems Integration Department

NSWC IHEODTD’s Systems Integration department performs research, development and acquisition of guns and ammunition to include supporting system design and procurement; installation; in-service trouble shooting; and life-cycle support for minor, medium and major caliber guns and ammunition. The department is also the Navy’s lead for the research, development and acquisition of weapons and armaments packaging, handling, storage and transportation (PHST) systems for all naval ordnance.

EOD Department

The NSWC IHEODTD EOD department is the home of the Joint Service EOD Technology Program and works to provide Soldiers, Marines, Sailors and Airmen with the information and technological solutions they need to detect/locate, access, identify, render safe, recover/exploit and dispose of both conventional and unconventional explosive threats. The department develops EOD knowledge, tools and equipment, including life-cycle support and provides these to the combatant commanders, interagency partners and the broader EOD community.

Some of the warfighting impact areas of the EOD department include:

  • Foreign Materiel Acquisition and Exploitation
  • Advanced EOD Robotic Systems
  • EOD Counter Radio-Controlled Improvised Explosive Device Electronic Warfare
  • Concept Realization, Innovation and Prototyping (CRIP) facilities