Leadership at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., broke ground on the new 75,000 square-foot Flight Test Engineering Laboratory during a ceremony hosted by the 412th Test Engineering Group, Oct. 19, 2022.
The $40 million, state-of-the-art, energy efficient building will provide a modern facility with lab capabilities to support and develop new methodologies and equipment critical for testing cutting edge weapons systems. The FTEL builds on Edwards’ almost 80-plus year history of pushing boundaries and innovation to deliver best value solutions to customers that meet their fiscal and schedule constraints.
“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,” Dr. Paul Waters, Director, 412th Test Engineering Group explained. “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 FTEL is an example of Edwards AFB’s partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Los Angeles District Construction Division, Office of Congressman Kevin McCarthy, The Korte Company, and Michael Baker International to accelerate change within the U.S. Air Force at the start of the developmental testing cycle.
This facility will house the 412th Test Engineering Group management, engineers, support personnel, labs, and technical library in a flexible, energy-efficient, modern facility that ensures flight test activities are effectively supported now and in the future. A new flexible facility will 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,” Jason Bostjancic, Deputy Director, 412th Test Engineering Group said.
The FTEL will enable rapid development for future platforms and improve testing of current weapon systems that will enhance multi-domain operations in ways physical testing cannot achieve.
Also, this facility will provide a secure environment to protect the information that is being gathered about the systems being tested on.
The contractual period of performance for construction is 700 days. The projected initial operational capability is scheduled to be begin in 2025.