Lakehurst, NJ

Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division (NAWCAD) Lakehurst

NAWCAD Lakehurst is the world leader in Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment (ALRE) and Naval Aviation Support Equipment (SE). It is part of the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) and is located on Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (JB MDL) in central New Jersey. As the Navy’s lead engineering support activity for ALRE and SE, NAWCAD Lakehurst conducts programs of acquisition management, technology development, systems integration, engineering, rapid prototyping / manufacturing, developmental evaluation and verification, fleet engineering support and integrated logistics support management. NAWCAD Lakehurst is responsible for maintaining fleet support and infusing modern technology across the entire spectrum of equipment needed to launch, land and maintain aircraft from ships at sea and austere expeditionary airfields



NAWCAD Lakehurst’s mission is to provide full spectrum lifecycle responsibility for Aviation SE and ALRE and assure that fixed and rotary wing aircraft operate safely and effectively from aircraft carriers, air capable ships and expeditionary airfields worldwide. This includes designing, prototyping, testing and contracting to provide items such as:

Aircraft Launch and Recovery Equipment:

  • Catapults/launching systems, including jet blast deflectors
  • Arresting gear
  • Visual landing aids
  • Information systems
  • Expeditionary air fields


Support Equipment:

  • Avionics, including advanced diagnostics
  • Aircraft handling, servicing, and maintenance
  • Propulsion
  • Maintenance information systems
  • Weapons handling equipment


NAWCAD Lakehurst includes more than 1,800 civilian and active-duty military personnel, ranking it as the largest employer in Ocean County, New Jersey. This highly trained workforce is made up of engineers, technicians, logisticians, acquisition experts, skilled technical artisans, business professionals, administrative personnel and more on station, and approximately 100 civilian technical representatives co-located with the Sailors and Marines they support worldwide.



  • Acreage: The Lakehurst site accounts for 7,430 acres of the 42,000 acres that make up JB MDL.
  • Airfields: NAWCAD Lakehurst maintains a 12,000-foot dedicated Research and Development Test and Evaluation (RDT&E) runway.
  • Test Facilities: The RDT&E runway houses two fleet representative aircraft carrier steam catapults, a fleet representative aircraft carrier EMALS, a fleet representative arresting gear and AAG systems. A fleet representative Jet Blast Deflector and Shore-based Arresting Gear are also part of the Test Complex. Three active mile and one quarter long jet car test tracks equipped with Fleet representative recovery systems simulate aircraft recovery.
  • Industrial Space: The NAWCAD Lakehurst Prototyping and Manufacturing Division covers 305,000 sq. ft. of industrial floor space. The fabric facility is the sole fleet source for emergency arrestment barricades.
  • Buildings: 368 structures, 298 buildings including more than 20 advanced engineering labs, training facilities, and advanced manufacturing capability and rapid prototyping shops.