Oceanography The Official Magazine of
The Oceanography Society
Volume 21 Issue 02

View Issue TOC
Volume 21, No. 2
Pages 16 - 17

A Little History of the NATO Undersea Research Centre

Peter Ranelli | Applied Research Department, NATO Undersea Research Centre, La Spezia, Italy

First Paragraph

In 1957, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, inspired by recent developments in the Cold War, recognized the need to develop collaborative efforts in science and technology to improve national efforts. Advances in Soviet submarine capabilities resulted in plans to form a multinational research center that would focus on new technologies for anti-submarine warfare (ASW). The Supreme Allied Commander, Atlantic (SACLANT), approved the new institution in June 1958. The United States Secretary of Defense provided funding to get the institution started until NATO multinational funding could be obtained. NATO accepted Italy’s offer of laboratory and other facilities within the La Spezia naval base, and the SACLANT ASW Research Centre was commissioned on May 2, 1959, to provide scientific and technical advice in the field of anti-submarine warfare and to respond to the needs of NATO nations and maritime commands. The “Centre” has been providing this support continuously to NATO and member nations for the last 50 years.


Ranelli, P. 2008. A little history of the NATO Undersea Research Centre. Oceanography 21(2):16–17, https://doi.org/10.5670/oceanog.2008.47.