Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation

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Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation
Abbreviation CMRE
Type Military research
Legal status Treaty
Purpose Maritime security
Headquarters La Spezia, Italy
Region served
28 nations in Europe and North America
Official language
English and French

Previously known as NATO Undersea Research Centre (NURC), the Centre for Maritime Research and Experimentation (CMRE) is a scientific research and experimentation NATO facility that organizes and conducts scientific research and technology development, centered on the maritime domain, to address defense and security needs of the Alliance. It is an executive body of NATO's Science and Technology Organization (STO).[1]

Research Areas[edit]

CMRE conducts projects in the following major research areas:


CMRE employs scientists and support staff from NATO member nations. Scientists rotate through the Centre on a contract basis with a fixed time limit (typically 3 years with a possible 2-year extension).

The current Director is Hank ORT, Rear Admiral (Rtd.), NLD N.[2] The post of Deputy Director is currently unoccupied.[3] The Chief Scientist is in charge of the scientific programme. The post of Chief Scientist is currently unoccupied.[4]


CMRE has two ships for conducting NATO research: the NATO Research Vessel (NRV) Alliance[5] and the Coastal Research Vessel (CRV) Leonardo. The NRV Alliance is a 93-meter ship commissioned in 1988. Its double hull and propulsion system make it one of the quietest research vessels in the world. The smaller CRV Leonardo,[6] commissioned in 2002, was designed for conducting experiments in shallower waters. In addition to supporting NURC’s scientific mission, the two vessels are chartered to commercial or government organizations within the NATO nations.

CMRE has specialized facilities and equipment for research at-sea, including a fleet of AUVs and other unmanned vehicles and instrumentation, linear array assembly facilities, and the Oceanography Calibrating Laboratory, which provides instrument calibration according to the World Ocean Circulation Experiment (WOCE) standard.