WHAT WE DO

We keep the fight unfair.

We lead the discovery, development and delivery of warfighting technologies for our air, space and cyberspace forces. Through unparalleled research, tomorrow’s technology and strategic partnerships, we give our warfighters unmatched advantage in the field. Balancing a legacy of success with a pursuit of innovation, AFRL is uniquely positioned to support the warfighter’s urgent needs and evolving demand to defend America.

WHO WE ARE

We're constantly inventing.

We’re a group of scientists, researchers, entrepreneurs, veterans and academics that push the boundaries of technology, creating a new tomorrow for our warfighters and our world. We never stop testing and we never stop trying. Because around the globe, market and military leaders rely on us to invent the future.

Where We Work

Our labs are unmatched.

To give our warfighters an advantage, we give our team access to facilities and equipment that often exist in no other lab. And our people match this technology; we work alongside the brilliant, the creative and the optimistic. In order to create a better future, we dare to believe it’s possible.

LEAD
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We’re not content to compete—AFRL leads the way. Where others follow, we forge our own path. When others say it’s impossible, our team finds a way.

DISCOVER
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Excitement for what’s possible drives us forward. There are many challenges—global and domestic—ahead, but we thrive when tasked with finding a solution that seems undiscoverable.

DEVELOP
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Finding the answer is just the beginning. We grow and expand new ideas until they’re scalable, cost-effective and safe for our world.

DELIVER
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Our world needs complete solutions. In order to give our warfighters an unmatched advantage, we keep our promises and surpass expectations.

A LEGACY OF INNOVATION

From our beginnings at McCook Field in 1917 to the modern day, nearly every aerospace technology in the last century has been influenced by AFRL. Here are just a few of the ways we have shaped the world around us.

A Legacy of Innovation

From our beginnings at McCook Field in 1917 to the modern day, nearly every aerospace technology in the last century has been influenced by AFRL. Here are just a few of the ways we have shaped the world around around us.

  • The Wright Brothers execute the first controlled powered flight

    1903
  • First flight of the all-metal U.S. P-26

    1932
  • The first U.S. operational jet engine, J-31, is produced

    1943
  • The United States Air Force is founded

    1947
  • The Atlas Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) enters service

    1957
  • The first rocket-powered ejection seat is deployed

    1958
  • The first Laser-Guided Bomb (LGB) is used in Vietnam

    1968
  • First flight of the B-2 Spirit stealth bomber

    1989
  • The Air Force Research Laboratory is formed

    1997
  • Massive Ordnance Air Burst (MOAB) munition test

    2003
  • First flight of the X-51 hypersonic test vehicle

    2010
  • Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson launches a science and technology initiative to encourage continued innovation

    2017
1903
Background image for timeline - old group shot of Air Force team