Air Warfare Centre

Air Warfare Centre (AWC)

The AWC's motto is: "ARMA JUDICARE CONSILIUM DARE" (To test the weaponry and give advice).

Established in Oct 93, the AWC’s 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".

Based in the Thomson Building at RAF Waddington, 11 other locations throughout the UK and 3 in the United States, the primary mission of the AWC is the provision of accurate, timely and contextual Integrated Mission Support to front line commanders and units. The AWC delivers Air environmental advice, together with mission dependent data, to enhance understanding and decision-making, operational tempo and decisive advantage while contributing to the development and testing of future Air Power capabilities and to the conceptual and doctrinal thinking that underpin their employment.

The Thomson Building is also home to the tri-Service Joint Electronic Warfare Operational Support Centre (JEWOSC)which contributes to the operational capability of the British armed forces by providing Electronic Warfare (EW) support directly to the Permanent Joint Headquarters (PJHQ) in Northwood and to a wide range of operational units and platforms. The JEWOSC is an integral component within the AWC’s Integrated Mission Support process and is jointly staffed by Royal Navy, Army, RAF and civilian personnel who maintain the UK’s Defence Electronic Warfare Database and provide Electronic Warfare Operational Support for all aircraft, ships and some Army units.

The AWC has 5 functional areas of responsibility that contribute to AWC Integrated Mission Support, as follows:


Development Division is responsible for de-risking the future of airpower. The division shapes, prepares and assures the delivery of Air Test and Evaluation (T&E) for current and new capabilities in the Air environment, including Operational Test of Lightning II, provision of air platform and survivability advice, and the development and operational test of current and future ISR systems.


Operations & Training Division provides advice to all Services in support of standing commitments and contingent operations. Working closely with both Intelligence and Operational Analysis, the Division strives to provide timely, accurate and contextual advice for front-line units to maximise their capabilities and for operational commanders to make informed decisions that appropriately balance operating against operational risk. The Division is also responsible for delivering a diverse range of Air Warfare Training to all Services at RAF Cranwell.


Operations Support Division provides timely, fused, all-source operational air and aviation intelligence support and intelligence planning, and underpins the AWC's Integrated Mission Support process. Through the Joint EW Operational Support Centre (JEWOSC) and the Typhoon Mission Support Centre (MSC) it is responsible for the provision of EW Operational Support to all 3 Services, including the provision of the national Electronic Order of Battle and Mission Dependent Data. The Division also acts as the Operational Sponsor for the Operations Support (Intelligence) Branch and Trade, including the RAF Reserve component.


The Operational Analysis Division supports all the other AWC Divisions, conducting studies and providing scientific and technical advice on any issue on any issue concerning the conduct of air operations. This includes support to the T&E of aircraft and weapons, countermeasures and associated systems; this comprises the design, management, analysis and reporting of flight and ground trials. The Operational Analysis Division also provides scientific and technical support through the AWC Integrated Mission Support process to front line units, HQs and MoD. Higher-level analysis tasks include campaign effectiveness assessment, in addition to planning, directing and managing activities to meet Air Command scientific research requirements.


Flying Division is responsible for the delivery of integrated T&E of current and emerging capabilities in support of current operations and future requirements. It conducts flight and ground tests, assess, develop, evaluate and clear aircraft, airborne weapons, systems and sensors for operational service. As well as trialling new or modified systems and software to ensure they are safe and effective, Flying Division also coordinates its activities closely with Operations to ensure capabilities are delivered with mature tactics ready for operational deployment. Much of the Division’s activity is conducted in partnership with QinetiQ, under the Long Term Partnering Agreement (LTPA), set up by the MOD in 2003. Flying Division is supported by Mission Systems Wg which is responsible for all professional engineering matters and the provision of technical and Subject Matter expertise advice to all Air T&E. Mission Systems Wg also acts as the primary interface between the AWC, QinetiQ and the MOD Test and Evaluation, Simulation and Training Project Team, providing a focus for MOD programmes at Boscombe Down delivered under the LTPA.

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