Naval Science and Technology Strategic Plan

The Naval Science and Technology (S&T) Strategic Plan describes how the Office of Naval Research (ONR) sponsors scientific research efforts that will enable the future operational concepts of the Navy and the Marine Corps. Department of Defense and Department of Navy (DoN) strategic documents provide the basic foundation for this plan. The priorities of the Secretary of the Navy, Chief of Naval Operations and Commandant of the Marine Corps are reflected in the shape of the investment portfolio and nine S&T focus areas outlined in the plan. This is a broad strategy that articulates a general direction for the future, while retaining sufficient flexibility and freedom of action to meet emerging challenges or alter course as directed by senior naval leadership.

This online version provides an abbreviated overview of the plan's focus areas. For more detailed information, download any of the complete plans indicated below:

As the DoN's S&T provider, ONR identifies S&T solutions to address Navy and Marine Corps needs. Since its establishment in 1946, ONR continues to be the first place that senior naval leadership turns to for addressing emerging technology issues and challenges. The ONR mission, defined in law, is to plan, foster and encourage scientific research in recognition of its paramount importance as related to the maintenance of future naval power, and the preservation of national security; and to manage the Navy’s basic, applied and advanced research to foster transition from science and technology to higher levels of research, development, test and evaluation.

This strategy ensures that ONR’s investments respond properly to naval needs and support the realization of innovative naval operational concepts. Its principal goals include:

  • Ensuring alignment of naval S&T with naval missions and future capability needs
  • Balancing and managing the S&T portfolio
  • Communicating the S&T vision and approach to senior decision-makers, key stakeholders, S&T partners, customers and performers

Focus Areas

For each of the nine focus areas, the following sections provide a synopsis of the S&T strategic drivers, vision, description, high-level objectives and sub-objectives that were presented to and approved by the Naval S&T Corporate Board. These focus areas highlight how S&T advances naval capabilities and guides our investments. The corresponding S&T research areas are listed in Appendix B (see the complete plan). These focus areas map the needs of the warfighter to the world of S&T. They embody enduring themes and are: 

  • Developed from naval needs
  • Sized for reasonable scale and magnitude
  • Linked directly to warfighting functions

The focus areas are:

  1. Assure Access to the Maritime Battlespace
  2. Autonomy and Unmanned Systems 
  3. Expeditionary and Irregular Warfare
  4. Information Dominance 
  5. Platform Design and Survivability
  6. Power and Energy 
  7. Power Projection and Integrated Defense 
  8. Total Ownership Cost 
  9. Warfighter Performance

* Some pages on this website provide links which require Adobe Reader to view.