Air Force Test Center

AFTC MISSION: The Air Force Test Center conducts developmental and follow-on testing and evaluation of manned and unmanned aircraft, avionics, weapons, cyber systems, space capabilities and emerging areas such as directed energy and autonomy. It has flight-tested every aircraft in the Army Air Force's and the Air Force's inventory since World War II. AFTC also operates the Air Force Test Pilot School 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.

3 Major Installations

  • Eglin AFB, FL –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.
  • Edwards AFB, CA –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 Air Force.
  • Arnold Engineering Development Complex, TN –Operates more than 68 aerodynamic and propulsion wind tunnels, rocket and turbine engine test cells, environmental chambers, arc heaters, ballistic ranges, sled tracks, centrifuges and other specialized units.


  • 35 locations across the United States
  • $3.1B annual Operations and Maintenance budget, $1B  annual Research, Development, Test and Evaluation budget
  • $31B in DOD facilities and test ranges
  • 99-plus aircraft (17 different variants)
  • 200-plus ground test facilities
  • 12 test cells unique to the world
  • 19,060 civilian, military and contractors


  • B-21 & Bomber Modernization
  • Hypersonics
  • Air Battle Management Systems
  • KC-46
  • F-35 & F-22 – follow-on modernization developmental testing
  • Joint Simulation Environment development and new facilities
  • Digital Engineering
  • Manned/Unmanned Teaming and Implementation of Autonomy
  • Test Flag Events (Orange Flag & Emerald Flag) – Focused on Interoprability
  • Aircraft test and support fleet – right-sizing, capacity versus requirements
  • MRTFB – capabilies and capacity to meet test needs


  • Continued funding for critical sustainment, restoration, and modernization of test facilities/capabilities
  • Continued development and growth of hypersonics infrastructure, test capabilities and workforce
  • Continued support for maintaining the moratorium on oil and gas leasing activities in the Gulf of Mexico
  • Increased recruitment and retention of highly skilled technical workforce