If you like weapons this China Lake Ranges 2018 video is for you.
Located in California’s Mojave Desert, China Lake is home to NAVAIR’s Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division (NAWCWD).
NAWCWD is responsible for supporting NAVAIR programs by:
- Performing research, development, test and evaluation (RDT&E), logistics, and in-service support for guided missiles, free-fall weapons, targets, support equipment, crew systems and electronic warfare
- Integrating weapons and avionics on tactical aircraft
- Operating the Navy’s western land and Sea Range test and evaluation complex
- Developing and applying new technology to ensure battle space dominance
Among the services NAWCWD provides, there is also Missiles and Free-Fall Weapons Research and Development. This means that China Lake develops explosives and propellants, and conducts basic and applied research in science and technology of weaponry.
Weapon systems regularly developed at China Lake include Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missile (AMRAAM), High-Speed Antiradiation Missile (HARM), Hellfire, Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM), Joint Standoff Weapon (JSOW), Penguin, Phoenix, Sidewinder, SeaSparrow, Standoff Land Attack Missile (SLAM), SLAM-ER, Standard Missile, Tomahawk and Vertical Launch Anti-submarine Rocket (VLA).
Actually, China Lake, emcompassing more than 1.1 million acres, 17,000 square miles of restricted airspace over land, more than 2,000 buildings and all kinds of possible targets, also supports operational testing activities carried out by partner nations. For instance, earlier this year, an Italian contingent made of four Tornado ECR (EA-200B in accordance with the Italian MoD Mission Design Series), belonging to the 6° Stormo (Wing) from Ghedi; four Eurofighter Typhoon jets (F-2000A), belonging to the 4°, 36° and 37° Stormo respectively from Grosseto, Gioia del Colle and Trapani; and one C-27J Spartan with the 46^ Brigata Aerea (Air Brigate) from Pisa, deployed there to take part in an operation dubbed “Blazing Shield” whose main goal was the the Operational Test & Evaluation (OT&E) of the Tornado ECR (a variant specialized in Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses missions) with the new AGM-88E AARGM (Advanced Anti Radiation Guided Missile) the a follow-on variant of the HARM (High Speed Anti Radiation Missile), the missile used for SEAD missions, developed under a US and Italian joint acquisition programme led by the US Navy.
China Lake complex has just celebrated its 75th anniversary. Here you can find an interesting video that was played at the event that celebrated the achievement on Nov. 8. However, even more interesting is the video below with tests conducted between 2017 and 2018 that includes plenty of slow motion clips, including Spike, Hellfire, MANPADS (Man Portable Air Defense Systems), GBU-54, GBU-31 “bunker buster” bombs, rockets, Tomahawks and much more. There is also a scene with a Eurofighter Typhoon dropping a LGB (Laser Guided Bomb) as seen through IR (Infra Red) vision.
H/T Guido Olimpio for the heads-up!