Sierra Lobo, Inc., teamed with Bechtel National, Inc. and GP Strategies Corporation to form the National Aerospace Solutions, LLC (NAS) joint venture and was awarded the Test Operations and Sustainment (TOS) contract at the Arnold Engineering Development Complex (AEDC). NAS performs work supporting unique test operations and sustainment of the more than $11 billion worth of infrastructure at the world’s largest and most complex flight simulation test and evaluation complex. The complex has supported most of the United States’ aerospace programs, from fighter jets and missiles to Saturn rockets, the Space Shuttle, and weather satellites.

The TOS contract acquires test operations, technology development, equipment and facility sustainment, capital improvements and some support services for AEDC. AEDC provides the most comprehensive set of aerospace ground test facilities in the world. Many of the individual test facilities are unique in the country or in the world. At its three operating sites, AEDC facilities include very large- to medium-sized wind tunnels which cover the entire flight envelope from subsonic to hypersonic speeds. Simulated altitude testing for very large commercial-type turbofan engines and the world’s most powerful fighter engines as well as large rocket motors can be conducted at AEDC. Facilities at AEDC can further simulate space environments and space vehicle reentry speeds and temperatures.

The TOS contract encompasses facilities at three geographic locations: Arnold AFB, Tennessee; the National Full-Scale Aero-dynamics Complex (NFAC) at NASA Ames Research Center in California; and the Hypervelocity Wind Tunnel 9 facility at the Federal Research Center at White Oak, Maryland.

Performance Requirements Include:

Full-scale F/A-18 High Angle of Attack testing in the NFAC (Photo Credit: NASA)

The Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile test in Tunnel 9 (Photo Credit: Arnold AFB)


  • Test and Evaluation
  • Technology Projects
  • Operation of Test Assets and Test Articles
  • Integrated Scheduling
  • Lifecycle Sustainment of Test and Test Support Assets
  • ID&C Engineering Services and Lifecycle Sustainment
  • Test, Measurement, and Diagnostic Equipment (TMDE) Management
  • Capital Improvements
  • Fuels Management Services
  • Machining / Fabrication and Chemical / Material Analysis
  • Operations and Lifecycle Sustainment of AEDC Base Support Assets
  • Utilities General Support
  • Data and Documentation for AEDC Configuration Items
  • AEDC Ground, Weapons and System Safety Programs
  • Sensitive Compartmented Information (SCI)

    The F135 Engine for the F-35 Undergoing Testing in Test Cell J-2 (Photo Credit: AEDC)

    Security and Associated SCI Information

  • Assurance (IA) Support
  • Financial Management
  • Acquisition of Supplies, Services, and Equipment
  • Interface Management
  • General Management
  • Strategic Planning
  • Foreign Technology
  • Public Affairs
  • Real Property Management and Accountability Services
  • Continuous Improvement Program
  • Integrated Performance Management Program
  • Innovations and Efficiencies

    Arnold Engineering Development Complex, Tullahoma, TN (Photo Credit: USAF)