Naval Air Warfare Center - Weapons Division - China Lake and Pt. Mugu

Agency/Department

FLC Region

Security Lab

Yes

Address

Code 4L4000D
1900 N. Knox Road STOP 6306
China Lake, CA 93555-6106
United States

Laboratory Representative

Description

The Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake is located about 150 miles north of Los Angeles, and covers over a million acres of Southern California's Mojave Desert. In 1943, adequate facilities were needed for test and evaluation of rockets developed by the California Institute of Technology (CalTech). At the same time, the Navy needed a new proving ground for all aviation ordnance. The Naval Ordnance Test Station (NOTS) was established in response to those needs in November 1943. This vast, sparsely populated desert, with near-perfect flying weather year-round and practically unlimited visibility, proved an ideal location not only for test and evaluation (T&E) activities, but also for a complete research and development (R&D) establishment as well. The early Navy-CalTech partnership established a pattern of cooperative interaction between civilian scientists and experienced military personnel that has made China Lake one of the preeminent RDT&E institutions in the world. In 1967 NOTS became the Naval Weapons Center and now it is known as the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division, China Lake. There are approximately 4,200 civilian employees, including 1,000 scientists and engineers, and 450 military personnel at China Lake. The estimated annual budget is approximately $800 million.

Mission

NAWCWPNS provides technical and material support to the fleet for land-based flight test and evaluation of Navy weapons systems, conducts high-energy laser systems and subsystems test and evaluation, serves as launch agent for suborbital space systems and research rockets, and participates in the operation of the DoD Missile Test Range at White Sands Missile Range.

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