Military Wiki
Air Warfare Centre
Active 1993 - Present
Country United Kingdom
Branch Royal Air Force
Type Training
Role Electronic warfare training
Part of Air Command
Garrison/HQ RAF Waddington
Nickname(s) AWC
Motto(s) Arma Judicare Consilium Dare
Air Commodore Stu Evans

The Air Warfare Centre, known as the AWC, is a Royal Air Force research and testing organization based at RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire in the United Kingdom. It has a training branch nearby as a lodger unit of RAF Cranwell and other branches elsewhere, including at High Wycombe, Brize Norton, Boscombe Down, and Odiham.[1] AWC's motto is "Arma Judicare Consilium Dare" which means To test the weaponry and give advice.


It was established in October 1993[2] and serves RAF Air Command by developing and implementing operational-level and tactical-level air doctrine.[3] Additionally, the Air Warfare Centre is home to the tri-service Defence Electronic Warfare Centre which contributes to the operational capability of the three British armed forces by providing Electronic Warfare support directly to the Permanent Joint Headquarters in Northwood and to various operational units. The Commandant of the Air Warfare Centre is Air Commodore Stuart Evans who took over from Air Commodore Edward Stringer in July 2011.

The Air Warfare Centre Mission is to contribute to the military capability of Air Command by developing and implementing operational and tactical doctrine and providing essential and timely integrated mission support to RAF operational units in peace and in war. Additionally, the Air Warfare Centre, as host to the collocated Defence Electronic Warfare Centre, contributes to the military capability of all 3 Services by providing Electronic Warfare (EW) support direct to Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ) and all operational units.


Based at RAF Waddington, and eleven other locations throughout the UK, the primary mission of the Air Warfare Centre is the provision of timely integrated mission support to the front line. The Defence Electronic Warfare Centre is an integral part and is jointly staffed by Royal Navy, Army, RAF and civilian personnel. Operational level Doctrine and Development (D&D) issues are addressed as part of the remit of the Doctrine and Collective Training staff of the Operations Division, in addition to their responsibilities for providing (in conjunction with the Liaison Officers from the Royal Navy, Army and USAF) operational support to air and joint headquarters and training tasks. The great majority of the remainder of Air Warfare Centre personnel provide: tactical level mission support in the form of production and maintenance of the Defence Electronic Warfare Database; Electronic Warfare Operational Support (EWOS) for all aircraft, ships and some Army units; operational evaluation of all aircraft types, associated equipment and weapons through the various Test and Evaluation Squadrons; administration and instruction of all joint air warfare courses. Scientific support to all Air Warfare Centre activities is provided by the Operational Analysis staff. There are 6 separate, albeit integrated, areas of responsibility as follows:

Development Division

Development Division is responsible for de-risking the future of airpower, both in conceptual terms and in practical terms: it is also responsible for shaping, and preparing for, the Test and Evaluation (T&E) of new capabilities to the Air environment, such as Joint Combat Aircraft

Operations Division

Operations Division co-ordinates and provides Integrated Mission Support (IMS) for operations, training and trials. Included in the Division's responsibilities are the development, dissemination and teaching of Air Environmental Doctrine, Air Warfare Training and the co-ordination of Synthetic Command and Control Training as well as wargaming, developing air tactics and weaponeering (92 Sqn). Operations Division is responsible for the development of Air Command and Control capability through workshop, study and experimentation. In addition, it provides Tactical Leadership and Combined Qualified Weapons Instructor training, and it co-ordinates the activities of the Command and Battlespace Management (Air) Working Group. Within Operations Division, the Information Operations Group is responsible for Operational Security (OPSEC) training and the integration of kinetic and non-kinetic effects within collective training exercises.

Operations Support Division

Operations Support Division provides timely, fused, all-source operational air intelligence support and intelligence planning. It acts as the focus for targeting issues and supports the Air Warfare Centre's Integrated Mission Support responsibilities. It is responsible for the management of the Defence Electronic Warfare Centre and specifically for the maintenance and segmental development of the database, as well as the provision of associated data and information to all 3 Services, including the provision of the national Electronic Order of Battle. The Division encompasses 591 Signals Unit (RAF Digby), 7006(VR) Squadron, 7010(VR) Squadron and 7630(VR) Squadron RAuxAF and is Operational Sponsor for the Operations Support (Intelligence) Specialisation and Intelligence Analyst (Intelligence) Trade.

Operational Analysis (OA) Element

The Operational Analysis Element supports all the divisions of the AWC. It conducts studies and provides scientific and technical advice on any issue which affects the conduct of air operations. It plans, directs and manages activities to meet the scientific studies and advice requirements of Air Command. The work includes the support of test and evaluation of aircraft, weapons (air-to-air, air-to-surface and surface-to-air), countermeasures and associated systems involving the design, management, analysis and reporting of flight and ground trials. Direct support of front line operations comprises advice to HQs and tactical advice to squadrons including targeting (weapon to target matching and collateral damage modelling) and threat assessment. Higher level analysis tasks include information and influence operations, psychological effects studies and campaign effectiveness assessment.

Flying Division

Flying Division is responsible for integrating air power expertise with test, evaluation, tactical-development and operational-employment activities, in order to deliver capability in support of current operations, while developing capabilities to meet requirements of the future. To achieve this, it conducts flight and ground tests to assess, develop, evaluate, and clear aircraft for the front line, together with airborne weapons and sensors. As well as trialing new or modified systems and software in order to ensure they are safe and effective, Flying Division also ensures they are delivered with mature tactics ready for operational deployment. It also conducts developmental and research flying. Flying Division is supported by, and delivers its activities through, 206 (R) Sqn, the tri-service Rotary Wing Test and Evaluation Squadron (RWTES) and the Empire Test Pilot School (ETPS) at MOD Boscombe Down, and 17 (R) Sqn and 41 (R) Sqn at RAF Coningsby. Much of its activity at Boscombe Down is conducted in partnership with the defence science and technology company, QinetiQ, as part of the Aircraft Test & Evaluation Collaboration (ATEC). The Heavy Aircraft Test Squadron was formerly responsible for testing heavy aircraft.

Test and Evaluation Division

T&E Division are responsible for the Joint Airborne Delivery T&E Unit, Number 56(Reserve)Squadron, the Unmanned Aerial Systems T&E Squadron, the trials coordination cell and all military personnel employed as fixed/rotary-wing mission systems / air-launched munitions specialists who directly support Air T&E activity. This division are also the prime interface between the AWC, QinetiQ and the Ministry of Defence (United Kingdom) T&E Simulation and Training Project Team, providing a focus for MOD programmes at Boscombe Down supported under the Long Term Partnering Agreement. The T&E Division is commanded by the AWC’s principal engineer and is responsible to the Commandant AWC for all professional engineering matters.

Joint Air Delivery Test and Evaluation Unit

The JADTEU mission is "To enable the delivery by air of manpower, machines and materiel through development, trials and training, in order to enhance Defence Capability.”

The Unit is located at RAF Brize Norton and comprises 124 [Royal Navy, Army, Royal Air Force and Civil Service] personnel commanded by a Lieutenant Colonel.


The Air Warfare Centre has given the RAF a coherent mission support organisation for the first time in its history. However, the application of air power is an evolving science and in a similar way the Unit continues to evolve to meet any future challenges. Its guiding principle may be aptly summarised in the quotation from Lord Trenchard at the opening of the RAF Staff College, Andover in 1922, "Remember that the one thing to which you should at all times apply your thoughts and brains is the expansion of the power of material and personnel without increasing either".[citation needed]


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