The Naval Engineering Test Establishment (NETE)
August 30, 2017 – Montreal, Quebec – National Defence / Canadian Armed Forces
The Naval Engineering Test Establishment (NETE) is the Department of National Defence’s principal naval test and evaluation centre. NETE provides independent verification and validation, as well as expert test and evaluation services to the Royal Canadian Navy (RCN) and other National Defence organizations from coast to coast. This ensures the engineering safety and effectiveness of naval equipment.
NETE provides a broad range of multi-disciplinary engineering test and evaluation services, including evaluation of the ability of systems to meet requirements, assistance in the conduct of trials, problem investigation, and verification of Naval Materiel processes. The facilities and services of the establishment are also available to other government departments and the private sector under certain conditions.
NETE has a very unique structure. It is government owned and contractor operated, relying on a long-term performance-based contract. The facilities are currently managed by Weir Marine Engineering (WME) Canada while direction and contract oversight are provided by a cadre of naval staff.
NETE personnel are specialized in several disciplines including combat systems, marine systems, information and communication systems, chemical analysis, instrumentation, machining and welding, as well as environmental, shock and vibration testing.
The team conducts operations from its main facility located in Montreal, as well as from detachments in Esquimalt, Halifax and Ottawa.
NETE was founded in 1953 primarily to support the introduction of the new St-Laurent class of ships and more specifically to test steam turbines, pumps and valves. As the Iroquois class of ships entered the RCN in the 1970s, NETE started testing gas turbine engines and also developed the Equipment Health Monitoring program.
With the introduction of the Halifax class ships and its radically more advanced sensors, weapons and communication suite in the late 1980s, NETE improved its capability to support the RCN with a naval information system, combat system operational test and evaluation services, as well as diesel generator testing.
As the RCN renewed its submarine fleet with the Victoria Class in the early 2000s, NETE introduced the ability to test escape and rescue components as well as to provide investigation services on various other submarine systems.
As NETE’s capabilities grew with each introduction of a new class of ships and submarines, and new shipbuilding projects got stood-up in the early 2010s, it became obvious that the existing test facility could no longer support the required future growth expected. Hence, a major modernization and upgrade project was launched in 2010, specifically aimed at providing the following:
- A new information and communication systems laboratory, enabling the integration and validation systems and networks,
- A new shielded room, enabling the integration of secret networks systems,
- A new multi-purpose combat system test area, enabling various technical investigations;
- A new environmental test area, enabling solid and waste water testing, oily water separators, garbage reduction systems, and reverse osmosis desalination units;
- Enhanced workshops and additional work areas on the main shop floor, enabling better work flow between the machine shop, welding shops and various test areas; and
- Additional office spaces.
Department of National Defence
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