The Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren, commonly abbreviated NSWC Dahlgren, is located in Dahlgren, Virginia. It was originally named the U.S. Naval Proving Ground, and was established in October, 1918. In early 1950, the base was renamed to the U.S. Naval Weapons Laboratory, and in 1974, it was renamed once again to the Naval Surface Weapons Center. It finally obtained its current name in 1990.
There are approximately 2,400 scientists and engineers employed by the Dahlgren organization, which was named after Rear Admiral John A. Dahlgren. Today, the center is primarily a research and development center. Scientists and engineers at Naval Surface Warfare Center Dahlgren work primarily on laser and computer technology, and research how to integrate the latest technologies into navy weapons to give the US the cutting edge it needs to win modern conflicts. Most of the specific weapons systems NSWC Dahlgren has worked on are confidential, but suffice it to say that the Dahlgren organization has contributed quite a bit to the US war effort. The base is famous for the development of the triggering mechanism of the Hiroshima atomic bomb.