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.

Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 23
VX-23 Insignia
Active22 July 1995 - present
CountryUnited States
BranchUnited States Navy
Typespecial flight test aircraft squadron
Garrison/HQNaval Air Station Patuxent River
Nickname(s)Salty Dogs


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.


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]

21st Century

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. 1 December 2015. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  2. "Welcome to the Naval Air Warfare Center - Aircraft Division | www.navair.navy.mil/nawcad". Navair.navy.mil. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  3. Liz Wright, Navy Office of Information. "Navy Tests Biofuel-Powered 'Green Hornet'". Navy.mil. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  4. "USA: T-45 Training Aircraft Completes Biofuel Flight at Patuxent River". Naval Today. 26 August 2011. Retrieved 7 January 2016.
  5. "US Navy Completes Successful T-45 Biofuel Flight | Energy". Domesticfuel.com. 29 August 2011. Retrieved 7 January 2016.

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