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Program Overview

Field Activities

International Participation



China Lake Naval Air Station

Edwards Air Force Base

Eglin Air Force Base

Patuxent River Naval Air Station

Point Mugu Naval Air Station

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base


Title: Program

Field Activities > Naval Air Warfare Center, California

  • The Naval Air Warfare Center (NAWCWD), with major sites are located at Point Mugu and China Lake, California, is the Navy’s primary weapons system research and testing facility. NAWCWD carries out the complete weapons systems development process, from basic and applied research through prototype hardware fabrication, test and evaluation, documentation, and fleet and production support. NAWCWD encompasses millions of acres of land and sea ranges which lie under thousands of square miles of joint service restricted land and sea airspace.

  • NAWCWD analysis and T&E capabilities include simulation of threat weapons systems; major electronic-warfare threat-simulation facilities; and complete test and evaluation—static, live fire, captive carry, supersonic track, environmental, radar cross section—of a wide range of antiair and antisurface systems. Contributing to and complementing these projects are broad technology-based efforts, which range from basic research in physics and chemistry to applied projects in energetic materials, embedded computers, specialized semiconductor and superconductor materials, and lasers and optics.

  • NAWCWD also has major system and software aircraft integration and test capabilities for the F/A-18, EA-6B, AV-8B, AH-1 and EP-3 platforms. These support activities provide analysis, development, acquisition, Developmental Test/Operational Test, and fleet introduction services through their NAVAIR sponsors, with a focus on post-production support through end of service life.

  • Key areas of expertise that NAWCWD provides to the JSF program include mission systems software engineering, integrated core processing hardware and software engineering, mission planning, sensor integration, pilot vehicle interface (PVI), software architecture, and overall mission systems design integration and test. NAWCWD also provides JSF with expertise in various areas of weapon integration such as stores management, fire control and stores, suspension equipment and stores loading supportability, gun systems, and specific weapon integration expertise. Lethality assessment expertise is also provided for the entire kill chain – from target detection and identification to weapon delivery to battle damage assessment.

  • NAWCWD contributes to the JSF survivability and vulnerability efforts, including live fire testing and analysis, effectiveness of countermeasure systems, electronic defense systems, as well as providing signature expertise. Additionally, NAWCWD provides engineering expertise in system security engineering, crew escape systems, and modeling and simulation support. JSF subsystems development ground and flight testing are currently being conducted at various NAWCWD test facilities, including the RADAR Reflectivity Lab (RRL) and Sea Range, located at Point Mugu, and the Land Range at China Lake. NAWCWD engineers also participate in verification and test planning in preparation for future ground and flight test activities.

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