NAVAIR: 50 Years of Naval Air Systems Command
Naval Air Systems Command is the United States Navy’s agency with responsibility for all aircraft, weapons and systems used by its sailors and Marines. This responsibility extends well beyond the procurement and contracting process for fixed-wing aircraft, rotary wing aircraft, and weapons systems, advancing deeply into the realms of research and development, test and evaluation, support and training, repairs, engineering, and logistics.
NAVAIR was formed in 1966 as the successor to the Navy’s Bureau of Naval Weapons (BuWeps). The bureau was established Aug. 18, 1959 by an Act of Congress that merged the Bureau of Aeronautics, responsible at that time for naval aircraft and related systems, and the Bureau of Ordnance (BuOrd), in charge of naval weapons. As technology grew in complexity after World War II, the Navy recognized the growing interrelationship between its aircraft and aerial weapons and the need to oversee their development into weapons systems.
For decades, NAVAIR has led the development and testing of generations of famous and successful naval aircraft. Most recently this included the launching and recovery of the X-47B unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) from the decks of U.S. Navy aircraft carriers. Far from being limited to aircraft, however, NAVAIR has helped develop a wide range of weapons and other technologies. These include the Sidewinder, the first air-to-air missile used in combat and still in use today; the first anti-radiation missile, the Shrike; and many other weapons, including the first GPS-guided munitions. NAVAIR hasn’t just provided benefit to the military – it developed the chemiluminescent light stick, stop-action video, automatic airbag sensors, and the body-scanning technology used in airports today, among many other technologies.
2016 is the 50th anniversary of Naval Air Systems Command, and renowned publisher of military history, Faircount, will collaborate with the U.S. Navy on the release of a special commemorative publication to mark the occasion. Produced to the same exacting editorial and design standards of publications commemorating the centennial of naval aviation, NASA, the Joint Strike Fighter program, and the commissioning of several U.S. Navy warships, the publication will provide a detailed analysis of the programs of NAVAIR and how the command has evolved over the last five decades to become the vital part of the Navy it is today.
VADM David A. Dunaway USN (Ret.) Commanding Officer, NAVAIR 2012-2015
BEFORE NAVAIR WAS NAVAIR
Fostering the Birth and Growth of U.S. Naval Aviation.
NAVAIR: 50 YEARS OF EQUIPPING THE FLEET
A history of NAVAIR since its stand-up in 1966.
The benefits the wider world has gained from NAVAIR-developed technologies.
The biggest, fastest, smallest, slowest, and strangest aircraft and weapons developed and tested by NAVAIR.
Adventures in flight testing over the decades.
- Fixed-wing Aircraft Programs
- Rotary-wing Aircraft Programs
- Weapons Programs
- Aviation Systems Programs
- Unmanned Systems Programs
THE NAVAIR PEOS
- PEO for Tactical Aircraft Programs – PEO(T)
- PEO for Air ASW, Assault and Special Mission Programs – PEO(A)
- PEO for Unmanned Aviation and Strike Weapons – PEO(U&W)
- PEO for Joint Strike Fighter – PEO(JSF) – (alternating service lead with the U.S. Air Force) NAVAIR
INSTALLATIONS AND FACILITIES
- Patuxent River
- China Lake
- Point Mugu
- Fleet Readiness Centers
- Naval Training Center Orlando