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MWC crest
MWC crest


Marlborough Building in HMS Collingwood, Fareham Marlborough Building in HMS Collingwood, Fareham The Maritime Warfare Centre was formed on 1 Oct 1995, merging the tasks of the Maritime Warfare Development Centre at HMS Dolphin and the Maritime Tactical School at HMS Dryad, to create a focal point for doctrine and tactical development.  Until 2007, the organisation was spread over 3 sites: Southwick for Maritime Education, Concepts and Doctrine Development; Portsdown for Tactical Development and Operational Analysis; Faslane (Greenock) for the organisation, planning and execution of submarine weapon firings.  Following reorganization during 2007, all MWC sites collocated in Marlborough Building in HMS Collingwood, Fareham.


The MWC provides the focus for Operational Knowledge Exploitation (OKX) – the requirement to observe and process front line operational experiences as quickly as possible so as to improve our fighting power.  It provides the Royal Navy with a ‘one-stop-shop’ for the evolution and dissemination of Maritime Doctrine in a Joint Environment through Tactical Development, Operational Analysis, Doctrine Development, Education and War Gaming, and the development of operational level war fighting, planning and decision-making.  MWC is also involved in a number of Defence Relations activities.  The MWC is part of Fleet’s operational organisation and provides outputs to a wide range of customers across the Royal Navy. 


The MWC is led by a Director supported by a Chief of Staff who oversees the activities of the 5 staff divisions: Under Water Warfare (UWW); Above Water Warfare (AWW); Carrier Strike & Aviation (CSAV); Littoral Land Manoeuvre (LLM); and Warfare Enablers (WarE) comprising C4ISTAR, Logistics and Operational Planning.  The Royal Navy’s Chief Scientific Advisor is an essential part of the organisation and ensures that MWC’s output is underpinned by rigorous scientific analysis.   


MWC has 6 key outputs, all of which are focused on supporting Operational Knowledge Exploitation.   The MWC has the lead for OKX and ensuring that lessons learned are passed on to future units engaged in operations.  This involves, inter alia, managing the Fleet Lessons Management System (FLMS) and supporting the collection process through ‘Reachout Teams’ visiting ships on deployment. 

Key outputs are:

1. Support to Operational Command & Control. Support to Operational C2 primarily involves facilitating the work up of Battle Staffs deploying to operational theatres and the provision of ‘reachback’, the means whereby a front line commander’s decisions can be informed by receiving answers to questions posed to MWC.

2. Tactical Development (TD). TD is the production of new or modified tactics and procedures in order to improve the collective performance of units, platforms, weapons and sensors. It uses evaluation, analysis, studies, seminars, modelling, education and considerations of human factors.  TD also contributes to 'reachback’ from front line units who are able to draw on MWC’s resources and expertise.

3. Operational Analysts (OA). OA is the application of scientific methods to military problems. Within the MWC it is conduced by both in-house operational analysis staff and through the tasking of Dstl and Industry. OA also contributes to ‘reachback’.

4. Doctrine Development. The MWC plays a leading role in developing and promulgating warfare doctrine for the Royal Navy as well as co-ordinating UK input into warfare development across NATO.

5. Maritime Education. Education conducted by the MWC promotes greater understanding of maritime operations and doctrine for uniformed and civilian personnel, through courses, seminars and presentations.  Course attendees are from the UK and a wide variety of NATO and coalition partners.

6. Defence Diplomacy. MWC supports the government’s directive to be a ‘force for good’ in the world by contributing to Defence Diplomacy through the provision of training and liaison opportunities to various countries including Russia and Kuwait.