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Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23
Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23 (US Navy) patch 2014.png
VX-23 Insignia
Active 22 July 1995 - present
Country United States
Branch United States Navy
Type special flight test aircraft squadron
Garrison/HQ Naval Air Station Patuxent River
Nickname(s) Salty Dogs
Colors SD

Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23 (VX-23) is an aviation unit of the United States Navy based at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland, United States. The squadron was established on 22 July 1995. Using the tail code SD, the squadron operates multiple aircraft types of the United States Navy for test and evaluation purposes.


Aircraft assigned to VX-23 include EA-6B, F/A-18E, F/A-18C and T-45.

VX-23 is an aircraft test squadron that conducts research, testing and evaluation of fixed wing tactical aircraft and UAV's. VX-23 provides aircraft, pilots, maintenance services, safety oversights and facility support for these operations. Their main mission is flying qualities and performance evaluations, shipboard suitability, propulsion system testing, tactical aircraft mission systems testing, ordnance compatibility and ballistics efforts, reliability and maintainability assessments, flight fidelity simulation and flight control software development. The squadron also provides Government Flight Representative, test monitoring, chase aircraft support, facilities for contractor demonstration, validation and development work involving tactical aircraft and associated systems.

An VX-23 F/A-18C releases Mk 83 bombs, in 2002.


The squadron was established in on 22 July 1995 as the Naval Strike Aircraft Test Squadron and redesignated VX-23 on 1 May 2002.[1] During the years VX-23, has tested and evaluated fixed-wing fighter, attack and other designated aircraft including EA-6B, F-14, F/A-18 and T-45. Recently, VX-23 have hosted and provided Flight Test Aircrew for the new Joint Strike Fighter X-32 and X-35 concept demonstration aircraft as well as the X-31 VECTOR test vehicle.

The squadron consists of about 40 officers and 90 enlisted drawn from the US Navy and US Marine Corps and also 340 contractor and civil servant personnel involved with maintenance, planning and safety oversight. These people support the squadron's 40 F/A-18A-G, EA-6B and T-45 aircraft. Additionally the squadron is supported by hundreds of flight test engineers provided by NAVAIRSYSCOM 5.1.6 (Test and Evaluation Engineering) and various other contractors. The squadron conducts over 2,600 flight operations every year which sums up to roughly 3,500 flight hours, much of which involves high-risk flight test. VX-23 conducts operations from a facility that includes three large hangars and also operates and maintains a TC-7 catapult and MK-7 arresting gear facility.[2]


On Earth Day 2010, a modified F/A-18 Super Hornet known as the "Green Hornet" was demonstrated by the squadron using a biofuel blend made from the camelina sativa plant.[3]

In August 2011,VX-23 flew the high-performance jet trainer on a biofuel mixture of petroleum-based JP-5 jet fuel and plant-based camelina.[4][5]

See also


  1. ^ "VX-23 Main Summary Page - VP Patrol Squadron". VPNAVY. 2015-12-01. Retrieved 2016-01-07. 
  2. ^ "Welcome to the Naval Air Warfare Center - Aircraft Division | www.navair.navy.mil/nawcad". Navair.navy.mil. Retrieved 2016-01-07. 
  3. ^ Liz Wright, Navy Office of Information. "Navy Tests Biofuel-Powered 'Green Hornet'". Navy.mil. Retrieved 2016-01-07. 
  4. ^ "USA: T-45 Training Aircraft Completes Biofuel Flight at Patuxent River". Naval Today. 2011-08-26. Retrieved 2016-01-07. 
  5. ^ "US Navy Completes Successful T-45 Biofuel Flight | Energy". Domesticfuel.com. 2011-08-29. Retrieved 2016-01-07. 

External links

  • Official Site

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