VAW-121 Blue Tails E-2 Hawkeye
Side #: 956. We’re making one BUNO at a time in this 18 inch VX-1 P-8a Poseidon model. Each model is carefully crafted from wood by artisans to mimic the P-8a that flies for the VX-1.
Their mission is to conduct tests, evaluations, and investigations of airborne antisubmarine warfare systems, airborne early warning weapon systems, armed helicopter weapon systems, airborne counter mine weapon systems, airborne strategic weapon systems, support systems, equipment, and materials in an operational environment. Additionally, tactics for use of these weapon systems are developed by VX-1 to serve as a foundation for initial employment by the Fleet. Because of the squadron’s unique position as an interfacing unit between the development of new weapon systems and their subsequent introduction into the Fleet, VX-1 is considered the squadron that “does it first.”
A variety of operational aircraft are assigned to VX-1 including the P-3C Orion, E-2D Advanced Hawkeye, P-8A Poseidon, MH-60R & MH-60S Seahawk, and MQ-8B Firescout. Additionally, VX-1 provides test and evaluation support for such diverse programs as the EP-3 Aires, E-6B Mercury, KC-130J Hercules, E-2C Hawkeye, MQ-4C Triton, RQ-21A Small Tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (STUAS), Navy Tactical/Mobile (TacMobile), Littoral Combat Ship (LCS), and a host of Airborne Mine Countermeasures (AMCM) systems.
As Naval Aviation operations change to meet evolving threats, so too does the nature of projects assigned for evaluation. At any one time, the squadron is engaged in over 30 projects involving weapons system evaluations, investigations, and tactics development.