Day 523: US Naval Museum of Armament and Technology

Today we drove up to Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake to visit the US Naval Museum of Armament and Technology.  It took about an hour to meet with a base clerk to fill out forms, have a background check run, and get passes to drive onto the base.  Out front, the museum has a Fat Man-type atomic bomb chassis which was tested here NAWS China Lake:


An EA-6B and an F-18 are parked out front:


The museum is extensive, and covers the armaments designed and/or tested here at China Lake:


The Shrike anti-radar missle:


Some things go without saying:


HARM, the replacement for the Shrike:




This is The Bat, a radar-guided bomb used in World War II.  Not to be confused with the bat bombs developed in the US during the same period, which released thousands of bats with napalm strapped to them:


It’s all vacuum tubes in The Bat, as the silicon transistor wouldn’t be invented until 1954:


Much of the museum was devoted to the Sidewinder missile and its many variants:


Each of these warhead variants served different purposes:


I really enjoyed the wealth of technical information provided:


More missiles:



Many weapon systems have been developed here over the decades:



When we finished touring the museum, we drove west and south to overnight on BLM land outside of Rosamond, California.  On the way, we passed the Mojave Air and Space Port, where Virgin Galactic spacecraft are tested.  See the trip map for today’s drive and our current location.

Day 522: Flooded Out at the Trona Pinnacles
Day 524: Feline Conservation Center

2 thoughts on “Day 523: US Naval Museum of Armament and Technology

  1. Thanks for visiting our museum and publishing these great pictures. Thanks also for putting up with the wait at the visitor’s center. We are in the process of moving our museum off the base and into the adjacent town of Ridgecrest, since increased security makes it more difficult for the general public to visit our museum.

    Our new location is 130 Las Flores Ave., next to the Maturango Museum. Our Phase 1 building is only 3000 sq ft; however, we are planning to build a 16,000 sq ft building at the same location in the near future. This will allow us to move all of the exhibits from the Naval Museum of Armament and Technology on the base out to our new museum in the city of Ridgecrest.

    Robert D. Smith – Secretary, China Lake Museum Foundation

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