Experimental and numerical studies on the flow behavior in a prototypical configuration of spallation targets have been performed, with the main purpose being to support the target design and to assess the computational fluid dynamics application. The effects of flow direction, presence of a perforated plate, and turbulence models on the flow behavior are investigated. Good agreement is obtained between the experimental data and the numerical results, except for the case of downward flow without a perforated plate, where large flow recirculation occurs beneath the window. For the numerical simulation of the flow behavior in the complex target geometries investigated, the shear stress transport model does not show advantages over the k-[curly epsilon] model.