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About ONR

As an executive branch agency within the Department of Defense, ONR supports the President's budget, and provides technical advice to the Chief of Naval Operations and the Secretary of the Navy.

Maritime Superiority Starts Here

The Office of Naval Research is the catalyst of future naval power, ensuring technological dominance for our fleet and force. With a workforce that includes some of the top PhDs and engineers in the world in their fields, ONR finds the best minds from across the nation and around the globe, sponsoring new research and creating new capabilities for America’s Sailors and Marines.

Our Mission

ONR was established in 1946 “…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.” ONR is tasked with discovering, developing and delivering new technology and capability for the Navy and Marine Corps. Our Sailors and Marines must have the decisive technological edge to ensure they have the advantage in every engagement. This is our mission.


ONR’s investments have enabled many firsts, including one of the earliest digital computers and the first programming language; the first satellite navigation system; advanced radar; powerful shipboard lasers; and the electromagnetic railgun. We will continue to lead the way in fields such as autonomy, artificial intelligence, synthetic biology and more, to ensure America always has the Navy the nation needs.