The Air Force Flight Test Center was re-designated as the Air Force Test Center July 13, 2012, and is an essential cornerstone to the command's consolidation initiative from twelve centers to six.
The Air Force Test Center (AFTC), headquartered at Edwards Air Force Base, California, leads the test and evaluation (T&E) mission, conducting developmental T&E and evaluation of air, space, and cyber systems to provide timely, objective, and accurate information to decision makers. AFTC has oversight of work carried out at three primary locations across Air Force Materiel Command (AFMC). Organizations include: 96th Test Wing, Eglin AFB, Florida; 412th Test Wing, Edwards AFB, California; and Arnold Engineering Development Complex (AEDC), Arnold AFB, Tennessee.
96th Test Wing - The 96th Test Wing is the test and evaluation center for Air Force air-delivered weapons, navigation and guidance systems, Command and Control systems, and Air Force Special Operations Command systems. The wing provides expert evaluation and validation of the performance of systems throughout the design, development, acquisition, and sustainment process to ensure the warfighter has technologically superior, reliable, maintainable, sustainable and safe systems. The 96th TW performs developmental test and evaluation across the complete system life cycle for a wide variety of customers including: Air Force Systems Program Offices, the Air Force Research Laboratory, logistics and product centers; major commands; other DoD services and U.S. government agencies (Department of Transportation, NASA, etc.); foreign military sales; and private industry.
412th Test Wing - The 412th Test Wing plans, conducts, analyzes, and reports on all flight and ground testing of aircraft, weapons systems, software and components as well as modeling and simulation for the U.S. Air Force. There are three core components for this mission: flying operations, maintenance and engineering. The U.S. Air Force Test Pilot School, also part of the test wing, is where the Air Force's top pilots, navigators and engineers learn how to conduct flight tests and generate the data needed to carry out test missions. The comprehensive curriculum of Test Pilot School is fundamental to the success of flight test and evaluation.
Arnold Engineering and Development Complex - AEDC is the most advanced and largest complex of flight simulation test facilities in the world. The complex operates 32 aerodynamic and propulsion wind tunnels, rocket and turbine engine test cells, space environmental chambers, arc heaters, ballistic ranges and other specialized units. Nineteen of the complex's test units have capabilities unmatched elsewhere in the United States; 14 are unique in the world. Facilities can simulate flight conditions from sea level to 300 miles and from subsonic velocities to Mach 20.
AFTC Vision - "Tester of Choice... Today and Tomorrow." Our vision affirms that we must relentlessly adapt and improve to preserve our vital role in maintaining world-dominant airpower for the United States. It recognizes that our proud heritage and extraordinary accomplishments do not, by themselves, guarantee future relevance in a rapidly changing world. This vision places our focus squarely on the needs of our customers and implicitly commits us to continuous improvement in all aspects of the T&E Enterprise. In doing so, we will meet and overcome the daunting technological and fiscal challenges that will certainly confront us into the future.
AFTC Mission - "Conduct Developmental Test and Evaluation of air, space, & cyber systems to provide timely, objective, and accurate information to decision makers." Through implementation of the AFMC Six Center Construct, the AF T&E Enterprise is consolidated under a single flag for the first time in history. This integrated organization, AFTC, is responsible for the world's largest and most advanced array of aerospace T&E capabilities. The true measure of success in accomplishing the AFTC T&E mission clearly lies in the accuracy, objectivity, and timeliness of the information we provide to design and acquisition decision makers.
AFTC Strategic Plan - The AFTC Strategic Plan is purposefully aligned with the AF and AFMC Strategic Plans. This plan identifies priorities and goals that will shape AFTC-wide actions over the next one to two years. It is established to ensure Center priorities are developed within the context of Higher Headquarters priorities, and provides the "North Star" for AFTC strategic decision making. The specific objectives, actions, and corresponding metrics will be used to help manage and measure the success of accomplishing our mission. "2016 AFTC Strategic Plan"
AFTC has an exceptionally rich history, and continues to be the center of excellence for flight and ground test. The Center's focus today, and in the future, is summed up in our motto: "Ad Inexplorata ...Toward the Unexplored."