Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR)
The Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) commands the operating forces of the Navy and develops requirements to maintain those forces in the prescribed state of readiness. Under the CNO there are several commands responsible for providing depot maintenance support: the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), and the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR). Each of these commands has subordinate field activities that perform depot level maintenance. The Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) operates three Naval Aviation Depots (NADEP) within the continental United States. These three modern industrial facilities provide in-depth overhaul, repair, and modification of aircraft, engines, avionics, and aeronautical components.
Seven years after the Wright brothers' historic flight, a Curtiss airplane landed off the coast of California on North Island. That same year, 1910, marked the start of Naval aviation when U.S. Navy Lieutenant Theodore Ellyson transferred to North Island to receive flight instruction from the Curtiss Aviation Camp.
In 1921, the Bureau of Aeronautics was established, and in 1935, an additional engineering specialty was recognized with the creation of the Aeronautical Engineering Duty Only Officer (AEDO) specialty. In 1960, the Bureau of Aeronautics and Bureau of Ordnance were combined to create the Bureau of Naval Weapons (BUWEPS). During this period, AEDs and OEDs were gravitating toward a Weapons Engineering Duty category, and OEDs were requested to convert to the AED designator.
With the creation of the Naval Material Command (NAVMAT) in 1966, came the establishment of the six Systems Commands, replacing the four Material Bureaus. BUSHIPS was split into the Naval Ship Systems Command (NAVSHIPS) and the Naval Electronic Systems Command (NAVELEX), while the Naval Ordnance Systems Command (NAVORD) and the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) were created from BUWEPS, with aviation ordnance functions allocated to NAVAIR.
In 1985 the Navy Material Command was disestablished by the Secretary of the Navy, leaving six separate Systems Commands as separate entities. After peaking at about 1400 officers in 1987, the EDO Community began a long-term right sizing along with the rest of the Navy. In1988, a second major staffing study was conducted which affirmed the value of the EDO Community to the Navy and targeted a billet structure of about 1300 officers. In 1995 an ED Billet Study was conducted to determine the future size and direction of the Community in view of the anticipated BRAC closure of shipyards and shore activities, and the new Navy emphasis on C4I systems.
The focus of the Air Vehicle technology thrust area is those technologies that have the greatest impact on the airframe and on the air vehicle aerodynamics and control, especially those that are unique or peculiar to Naval Aviation operations. Current investments include unique aerodynamic concepts; aerodynamics of V/STOL configurations; flight control technologies, especially those related to reconfigurable flight control systems and self-diagnostic systems; aircraft handling qualities for shipboard operations; Uninhabited Combat Air Vehicle concepts; advanced composite structure concepts, and structural life methodologies. Through a variety of
A major objective of the Navy and Marine Corps is to make avionics and sensor systems lighter and smaller for the functionality required and to have a greater degree of component commonality with other, especially commercial, systems. The Department is moving away from federated avionics systems to distributed systems where common processor modules and shared apertures can be used with great cost and support advantage. A major focus is on dual-use systems that can adapt to emerging communication, navigational, safety and computing concepts, as well as promote safe and efficient flight in the U.S. civil and European airspaces.
The Navy and Marine Corps are focusing on a variety of state-of-the-art offensive and defensive weapon technologies that are long-range, high precision, all weather, low-cost, robust and reliable against time-critical, hardened, fixed and moving targets. The weapons program has a highly focused mission area structure which is built on the Office of Naval Research Air & Surface Weapons Technology (ASWT) program goals of developing and demonstrating those technologies which will maintain the Naval warfighter's edge in Land Attack and Air Dominance. The technologies will achieve challenging time-phased mission area performance goals, resulting in significant warfighting payoffs.
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