VX-23 Salty Dogs F/A-18 Tailflash
A carefully crafted and painted 20 inch wooden tail of the VX-23 Salty Dogs.
Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Two Three (VX-23) is NAVAIR’s largest flight test organization. The squadron’s mission is to support the RDT&E of fixed wing tactical aircraft by providing aircraft and pilot assets, maintenance services, safety oversight and facility support for these efforts. Primary areas of support include flying qualities and performance evaluations, shipboard suitability, propulsion system testing, tactical aircraft mission system testing, ordnance compatibility and ballistic efforts, reliability and maintainability assessments, flight fidelity simulation and flight control software development. The Squadron also provides Government Flight Representatives, test monitoring, chase aircraft support, and facilities for contractor demonstration, validation and development work involving tactical aircraft and associated systems.
VX-23 consists of approximately 45 officers (Navy, Marine Corps and foreign nationals), 90 enlisted (Navy and Marine Corps), 45 civil service and 965 contractor employees directly involved with aircraft maintenance, test planning and conduct, safety oversight and support of the squadron’s 44 F/A-18A-D Hornet, F/A-18E/F Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler, T-45A/C Goshawk aircraft and EA-6B Prowler; plus the on-going contractor demonstration efforts with F-35B/C Lighting II and X-47B UCAS-D aircraft. Additionally, VX-23 is supported by hundreds of flight test engineers and technicians provided by the Integrated Systems, Evaluation, Experimentation and Test Department and various contractors. The squadron conducts over 3,150 flight operations annually, totaling approximately 4,400 flight hours, much of which involves high-risk flight test. VX-23 conducts operations both shore based and shipboard, locally at NAS Pax River from facilities which include three large aircraft hangars, also operates and maintains a TC-7 catapult and MK-7 arresting gear test sites.