The U.S. Navy and G-W Management Services have begun construction work on a new operations facility at Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland in support of test operations for unmanned systems, virtual battlespace environments and other naval aviation programs.
The Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division and G-W held on Aug. 24 the groundbreaking ceremony for the 17,000-square-foot facility intended to support NAWCAD’s Atlantic Test Ranges, the Navy reported Tuesday.
Rear Adm. Shane Gahagan, NAWCAD commander, said the new center would help NAWCAD reduce scheduling challenges, ensure security of data processing operations for the test ranges, and speed up delivery of new systems to the service branch’s fleet.
The new operations center will include mission test cells designed to facilitate flight tests of future naval programs such as the Unmanned Aircraft Common Control Station, Next-Generation Air Dominance system and MQ-25A Stingray.
NAWCAD expects construction work to be finished by late 2017.
NAWCAD’s ATR facilities include over 2,700 square miles of airspace in Virginia, Maryland, Delaware and Chesapeake Bay used by the service branch to perform flight tests of naval aircraft systems.