‘VAMPIRE’ EVOLUTION

Screaming down a remote valley to hit a target with precision, banging down on a carrier deck, engaging fighters at range — VX-9 ‘Vampires’ ensures that fleet units get just what they need in terms of new ‘kit’.

A fabulous shot of the VX-9 commander’s F/A-18E flying on a test mission near NAWS China Lake. Kedar Karmarkar

IT’S NO COINCIDENCE that Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (AIRTEVRON) Nine (VX-9) is stationed alongside VX-31 at Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) China Lake. The two work closely together, albeit with very different mandates. VX-9 is part of the Operational Test and Evaluation Force (OPTEVFOR), tasked with realistic testing and evaluation of naval aviation systems and weapons that are to be fielded to operational units.

Want to read more?

This is a premium article and requires an active Key.Aero or Key Publishing subscription.

Existing subscriber? Sign in now

No subscription?

Pick one of our introductory offers

3 months

Standard subscription rate £29.99 + VAT

Launch rate £15.99 + VAT

Subscribe now
Recommended

12 months

Standard subscription rate £69.99 + VAT

Launch rate £29.99 + VAT

Subscribe now

9 months

Standard subscription rate £39.99 + VAT

Launch rate £19.99 + VAT

Subscribe now