NAWCWD Making History

NAWCWD provides direct support for naval aviation and is recognized for a number of significant "firsts". NAWCWD has extensive experience in developing, perfecting, and testing military components and subsystems that also have had direct application to space missions. Although work for other agencies represents only a small fraction of the total workload, NAWCWD is occasionally called upon by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to lend expertise to projects of national importance. Lessons learned from joint projects help NAWCWD find solutions to naval aviation problems. China Lake and Pt. Mugu are recognized for several space-related and earlier undersea "firsts".


Weapon Testing "Firsts"

  • Unmanned aircraft release of a Global Positioning System (GPS) guided weapon

  • Pegasus X-47A and Fire Scout RQ-8 UAV flights

  • Hellfire missile launch from Sky Warrior UAV

  • UAV Search and Rescue Support with Predator B

  • Tactical Tomahawk launch with live warhead; first launch from a British submarine

  • Standard Missile-3 seabased ballistic missile intercept

  • Standoff Land Attack Missile (SLAM) firing

  • Air-to-air "six on six" (missiles launched / targets killed) - Phoenix

  • Plane and crew to land at South Pole - VXE-6

  • U.S. kill of an enemy airbourne target by an air-to-air guided missile - Sparrow Missile

  • Contact hit against and airbourne target by a surface-to-air guided missile - Lark Missile

  • High power EW jammer on the EA-18G - ALQ 99

Technology Development "Firsts"

  • Chemiluminescient light sticks

  • Stop-action video

  • Automobile airbag initiators

  • Ground-based passive IR system to autonomously declare antiaircraft missiles, thus allowing time, thus allowing time to deploy precision countermeasures - distributive ground-based threat detection system (DGTDS)

  • Radar for automatic detection and discrimination of submarine periscopes in high-clutter environments with low probability of false alarms - automatic radar detection and discrimination (ARPDD)

  • Reprogammable self-protection jammer

  • Real-time night display of targets

  • Real-time x-ray video system to view the inside a rocket motor while being fired

  • Subject search made by a digital computer for data mining

  • Logarithmic amplifiers enabling the first ultrasonic body scanning

  • Active optical proximity fuze technologies

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Electronic Warfare "Firsts"

  • U.S. DoD organizaition dedicated to electronic warfare - 1950's

  • U.S. DoD organization to conduct countermeasures evaluations for all of Bureau of Weapons guided missiles - 1960's

  • Complex, dynamic, false target jamming technique to counter man-in-the-loop radar tracking - RANRAP

  • Use of airborne jammers to counter Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs)

  • Algorithms and protocols allowing net-centric off-board reprogramming and control - CORPORAL

  • Digital multiple false targets jamming capability for EA-6B

  • Reprogrammable self-protection jammer - AN/ALQ-126B

  • Field-deployable Tactical Electronic Reprogramming, Processing, and Evaluation System - TERPES

  • In-theater near real-time tactical weapon system reprogramming of airborne electronic attack and TACAIR self-protect systems

  • Navy and Marine Corps fixed and rotary wing aircraft communications jamming pod to serve both carrier air wing and expeditionary warfare groups - AN/ALQ-228 (V)1

Weapon Development "Firsts"

  • Fire-and-forget guided missile under six pounds - Spike Missile

  • Air-to-air guided missile successfully used in combat - Sidewinder Missile

  • Successful anti-radition missile (ARM) - Shrike Missile

  • Air-to-surface precision-guided missile - Walleye

  • Fire-and-forget precision-guided imaging infrared (IR) 2.75-inch rocket - Low-Cost Guided Imaging Rocket (LOGIR)

  • Low collateral damage precision-guided munition (PGM) warhead, 85% less explosive, same mass properties - Low Collateral Damage Bomb (LCDB, also known as LOCO)

  • Feasibility studies, concept development, and early testing - Polaris Missle

  • Non-nuclear components and testing - Fatboy Atomic Bomb

  • Plastic- bonded explosives

  • US aircraft rockets

  • "No-smoke" missile motors

  • Controlled fragmentation Pearson Notch, still the standard method for controlled warhead case fragmentation

  • Metal augmentation charge (MAC) enhanced thermobaric warhead - Hellfire AGM-114N

  • U.S. Navy's premier hard target penetration weapon- BLU-116B

  • Cast ductile iron warheads- a family of Mk 80 series weapons

  • Cast iron weapon store qualified for flight on Navy and Air Force aircraft

  • Heavy-wall practice bomb

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Space and Undersea "Firsts"

  • Lunar lander and Mars lander subsystems

  • U.S. Satellite Launch - NOTSNIK

  • Antisatellite weapons demonstration

  • Technology allowing images from space to be sent back to earth

  • U.S. manned submersible to descend to 2000f - Deep Jeep