Construction has started on a new flight test engineering laboratory at the US Air Force’s Edwards Base, California.
The US$40 million building will support and develop new methodologies and equipment critical for testing weapons systems.
Paul Waters, director of the412th Test Engineering Group at Edwards Air Force Base (AFB) said, “This facility is going to be critical to helping us execute our mission, particularly as we move forward into the future and our mission evolves.
“This mission is absolutely critical to the National Defense Strategy. It’s about getting knowledge into the hands of decision-makers faster so that we can accelerate getting weapons fielded.”
The flight test engineering laboratory (FTEL) will house the 412th Test Engineering Group (TENG) management, engineers, support personnel, labs, and technical library in a flexible, energy-efficient, modern facility that ensures flight test activities are effectively supported.
The facility is expected to take two years to build and begin operating in 2025.
The facility is intended to allow TENG to rapidly upgrade / modify labs to keep up with the increasing pace of changing technology and agile software updates. “Today marks a milestone, measured in decades, for the dedicated engineers of the 412th Test Wing, past and present,” said Jason Bostjancic, Deputy Director, 412th Test Engineering Group.
The FTEL will also help enable the rapid development of future platforms and improve the testing of current weapon systems that will enhance multi-domain operations in ways physical testing cannot achieve.